Volume 49, Issue 5 (September 2004)

    Enhanced Kinship Analysis and STR-based DNA Typing for Human Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents: The Swissair Flight 111 Disaster

    (Received 13 September 2003; accepted 28 March 2004)

    Published Online: September

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    A bioinformatic tool was developed to assist with the victim identification initiative that followed the Swissair Flight 111 disaster. Making use of short tandem repeat (STR) DNA typing data generated with AmpF/STR® Profiler Plus™ (PP) and AmpF/STR® COfiler™(CO) kits, the software systematically compared each available STR genotype with every other genotype. The matching algorithm was based on the search for: (i) direct matches to genotypes derived from personal effects; and (ii) potential kinship associations between victims and next-of-kin, as measured by allele sharing at individual loci. The software greatly assisted parentage analysis by enabling kinship evaluation in situations where complete parentage trios were unavailable and, in some situations, with distantly related relatives. Exclusion of fortuitous kinship associations (FKA) was made possible through the recovery at the disaster site of at least one remains for every sought-after victim, and was incorporated into the kinship software. The data from the 13 combined STR loci produced 6 and 23 times fewer FKAs when compared with PP alone and AmpF/STR® Profiler™ (PR) alone, respectively. Identification leads or confirmations of identification were obtained for 218 victims for which DNA reference samples (personal effects and kin) had been submitted. Confirmation of an inferred kinship association was sought through frequency and likelihood calculations, as well as corroborative data from other identification modalities. The use of a simple, yet powerful, automated genotype comparison approach and the use of megaplexes with high power of discrimination (PD) values extended considerably the identification capabilities in the case of the Swissair disaster. The DNA typing identification modality proved to be a valuable component of the large arsenal of identification tools deployed in the aftermath of this disaster.


    Author Information:

    Leclair, B

    Frégeau, CJ
    National DNA Data Bank, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa, Ontario

    Bowen, KL
    National DNA Data Bank, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa, Ontario

    Fourney, RM
    National DNA Data Bank, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa, Ontario


    Stock #: JFS2003311

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003311

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    Author
    Title Enhanced Kinship Analysis and STR-based DNA Typing for Human Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents: The Swissair Flight 111 Disaster
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30