FBI approves QIAGEN’s NGS-based ForenSeq MainstAY workflow for the U.S. National DNA Index System (NDIS)

June 22, 2023
NDIS approval provides access to federal government funding for accredited public crime laboratories in the U.S. to implement next-generation sequencing (NGS) for routine casework.

QIAGEN announced that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has approved its ForenSeq MainstAY workflow. This allows accredited forensic DNA laboratories to process DNA casework samples and search resulting profiles against the U.S. National DNA Index System (NDIS) CODIS database containing 20 million offender profiles and used by authorities across the U.S. to help solve criminal investigations nationwide.

The ForenSeq MainstAY workflow has been developed and commercialized by Verogen, a QIAGEN company. It is composed of the high-throughput ForenSeq MainstAY kit, the MiSeq FGx Sequencing System and the ForenSeq MainstAY Analysis Module in the Universal Analysis Software. The workflow was submitted for NDIS approval by the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services Laboratory System.

This standardized workflow supports volume casework and sexual assault cases and is a cost-effective alternative to analyzing short tandem repeats (STR) with capillary electrophoresis (CE). Utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, it supports high-throughput processing of up to 96 samples in one run, provides improved sensitivity resulting in increased profiling efficiency, higher resolution and is extensible for applications such as forensic investigative genetic genealogy (FIGG), phenotyping, and additional capabilities such as body fluid identification.

Launched in 2021, the ForenSeq MainstAY workflow targets 52 forensically relevant autosomal and Y-STR DNA markers that support both identity confirmation and familial searching. Optimized to overcome typical challenges faced by forensic laboratories such as inhibitors, low levels of DNA input and degradation, it meets CODIS and European standards, supporting inter-database compatibility and the highest discrimination of any commercially available STR kit. Furthermore, when used in combination with the ForenSeq Kintelligence workflow, it supports end-to-end forensic investigative genetic genealogy from lead generation to identity verification. Importantly, it enables public labs to solve more cases, identify the unidentified and exonerate the innocent in accordance with forensic quality and accreditation requirements.

Qiagen release