The interpretation of DNA test results differ depending on the purpose of the test. If performed to ascertain health information, results focus on whether specific genes, chromosomes, or proteins are present or not, explains Genetics Home Reference. If performed to ascertain paternity or familial relation, results focus on if the tested individual shares a certain amount of DNA with another individual, according to Identigene.
DNA tests that focus on ascertaining general health information look for changes in specific genetic items of interest. The test results display a positive or negative result for each of the genes, chromosomes or proteins in question. A positive result may indicate that the individual carries a specific genetic mutation. This could mean that the individual has an increased risk of developing a medical condition. It could also confirm a specific diagnosis or even indicate that further testing is necessary, reports Genetics Home reference
A negative result indicates that the genetic change is not present. This may mean that the individual is not a carrier or may not be at increased risk for a specific health condition. Negative results may also be inconclusive. Inconclusive results occur due to natural genetic variations that are not linked to specific health implications. Inconclusive results may require further testing of the individual or family members to obtain conclusive results, according to Genetics Home Reference.
DNA tests that determine familial relation, specifically paternity, indicate whether the potential father is "excluded" or "not excluded." If excluded, the test determined that the individual did not share certain necessary genetic information with the potential offspring. This means that the individual is not the biological father. If not excluded, the individual does share the necessary genetic information and is the biological father, explains Identigene.