A comparison of adjustment methods to test the robustness of an STR DNA database comprised of 24 European populations

Forensic Sci Int. 2003 Jan 28;131(2-3):184-96. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(02)00423-1.


An aim of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) is to produce a DNA database of second generation multiplex (SGM) STR profiles that is representative of the resident cosmopolitan populations. To achieve this, data were collected from 24 different populations. All of the data were combined to form one database of 5700 profiles from which allele proportions were calculated. The robustness of this combined European database was tested by estimating parameter d for every DNA profile, where d=log(10)(Pm(c)/Pm(E)) Pm(c) is the match probability of the profile calculated from its cognate database and Pm(E) is the match probability of the combined European database. Overall there was a small tendency for Pm(c)>Pm(E) primarily because of sampling bias. This bias was removed by the simple expediency of applying an adjustment factor to the calculation of Pm(E). These were selected from the Balding size bias correction, the Balding and Nichols Fst correction, a minimum allele proportion (between 0.01 and 0.02), an upper bound of a 95% confidence interval (CI) and a lower bound on the genotype match probability. It was demonstrated that a single European database is a feasible proposition. A combination of different adjustment methods can be used to ensure that the result is conservative relative to the cognate database, and their effect measured by parameter d.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Confidence Intervals
  • DNA Fingerprinting / methods
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Europe
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Genotype
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Racial Groups / genetics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences*