Laboratory First to Obtain Specimens from the Virtual Repository of Dried Blood Spots
Des Plaines, IL – USDTL (United States Drug Testing Laboratory, Inc.) is the first laboratory to be awarded specimens from the Virtual Repository of Dried Blood Spots (VRDBS), a new national database of dried blood spot (DBS) specimens available for use in research. DBS are collected from each newborn at the time of birth and used to screen for serious or life-threatening conditions before symptoms begin.
VRDBS released the first 250 DBS specimens to USDTL in April of 2013. This first group of DBS included all live births from across the state of Iowa for a single day. The state of Iowa is the first state to make its DBS specimens available for researchers to use. “The Congenital and Inherited Disorders Advisory Committee to the Iowa Department of Public Health has endorsed this important newborn screening research,” said Kimberly Noble Piper, State Genetics Coordinator with the Center for Congenital and Inherited Disorders in the Iowa Department of Public Health. All identification of the DBS specimens has been removed prior to inclusion in the VRDBS to protect the privacy of the donor infants. Entrusted with this first set of specimens, USDTL will use them to measure ethanol biomarkers in red blood cells using their BloodSpot® assay, and investigate prenatal alcohol exposure.
A National Research Tool
Established by the Newborn Screening Translational Research Network, the VRDBS is a web-based, open-source tool set up to help connect researchers with the various state newborn screening programs and make archived DBS available for research. Dried Blood Spots are a unique and potential y powerful resource for pre- and perinatal researchers. Each state has its own set of storage and archiving standards for DBS after the initial newborn health screening has been completed, which makes it difficult for researchers to access these specimens. The VRDBS creates a central clearing house for the entire United States, helping researchers navigate their way through the various state regulations and standards.
Established in 1991, USDTL has made significant breakthroughs in detecting alcohol and other substances of abuse by developing procedures which help healthcare and addiction professionals. They offer a wide range of testing services and specialize in hard to detect substances of abuse and customized assays.