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Human Leukocyte Antigen alleles as an aid to STR in complex forensic DNA samples

Author:
Kuffel, Agnieszka  Gray, Alexander  Daeid, Niamh Nic  


Journal:
SCIENCE & JUSTICE


Issue Date:
2020


Abstract(summary):

Human biological samples with multiple contributors remain one of the most challenging aspects of DNA typing within a forensic science context. With the increasing sensitivity of commercially available kits allowing detection of low template DNA, complex mixtures are now a standard component of forensic DNA evidence. Over the years, various methods and techniques have been developed to try to resolve the issue of mixed profiles. However, forensic DNA analysis has relied on the same markers to generate DNA profiles for the past 30 years causing considerable challenges in the deconvolution of complex mixed samples. The future of resolving complicated DNA mixtures may rely on utilising markers that have been previously applied to gene typing of non forensic relevance. With Massively Parallel Sequencing (MPS), techniques becoming more popular and accessible even epigenetic markers have become a source of interest for forensic scientists. The aim of this review is to consider the potential of alleles from the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) complex as effective forensic markers. While Massively Parallel Sequencing of HLA is routinely used in clinical laboratories in fields such as transplantation, pharmacology or population studies, there have not been any studies testing its suitability for forensic casework samples.


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