JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

14.3: Working practices

  • DNA should be as intact as possible. Degraded DNA should be avoided.
  • An archival record (e.g. photograph) of each electrophoretic run should be retained.
  • The performance of probes and primers should be fully validated and characterised before they are put into use. Others should be used only for research purposes.
  • Reagents (e.g. chemicals, enzymes) should be stored and utilised under conditions recommended by the manufacturer, including, for example, storage temperature, test temperature, shelf life, diluent buffer and concentration for use.
  • Each lot of reagents must be tested before use in routine typing.
  • For reagents and kits, the source, lot number, expiration date and storage conditions should be documented.
  • Users should have procedures to ensure that periodic checks of probes and primers are carried out to detect their deteriorating performance or contamination.
  • Thermal cyclers should be serviced at least annually according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and a temperature calibration should be performed. A record of the service and calibration checks should be maintained.
  • Laboratories should regularly check their primer sequences for newly discovered single nucleotide polymorphisms. This can be done by checking the National Genetic Reference Laboratory website at