Recruitment and sample collection as part of a European molecular epidemiology project: Experiences in the Born in Bradford NewGeneris subcohort, UK

Publication authors

Hepworth S.J.; Mijal R.S.; McKinney P.A.; Wright J.P.; Kleinjans J.C.


The Newborns and Genotoxic Exposure Risk (NewGeneris) study is an integrated European project investigating exposure to dietary compounds during prenatal life. Measurement of exposure and early effect biomarkers within both maternal and umbilical cord blood samples is being carried out. Born in Bradford is a
multi-ethnic birth cohort from the United Kingdom. A sub-cohort of women scheduled to have an elective caesarean section are being asked if they would be willing to participate in the NewGeneris study. Sub-cohort recruitment began in January 2008 and is scheduled to continue until December 2009. To date of 363
appointments attended 176 mothers (48%) have been recruited with 117 paired samples of maternal and cord blood collected (66% of recruitments). The average maternal blood sample volume is 26 ml (median: 30 ml). Alongside sample collection participants are also asked to complete a food frequency questionnaire (74%
completion rate). Within the current study samples were required for several different biomarker analyses. Each blood sample was split into up to 16 aliquots of five types which are subsequently shipped to laboratories across Europe. Sample tracking procedures were developed to ensure samples of different volumes and types can be tracked. These results give an indication of the percentage and volume of successful sample collections that can be expected in this context and how research can be embedded as part of routine clinical practice. Several lessons were learned during the implementation of this study including the importance of having inventory systems in place, making allowance for recruitment of non-English speakers and making sure midwives are kept informed and thanked for their part in the success of the study. Another important element was to develop procedures for when an optimal sample cannot be obtained as this is likely to occur for a significant minority of samples.