The contribution of DNA to the disaster victim identification (DVI) effort

Forensic Sci Int. 2011 Feb 25;205(1-3):52-8. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.09.024. Epub 2010 Nov 23.


As part of the disaster victim identification (DVI) response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires disaster, a number of scientific disciplines contributed to the human identification process--forensic pathology, anthropology and odontology, as well as fingerprinting and DNA profiling. The DNA laboratory received 182 post-mortem (PM) samples from 120 DVI cases and 236 reference samples corresponding to 163 missing persons (and two non-DVI cases). DNA analysis yielded full DNA profiles for 102 DVI cases and 190 ante-mortem (AM) samples (relating to all 163 missing persons), respectively. Subsequent comparison of DNA profiles, through direct and kinship matching, resulted in the submission of 76 DNA reports to the DVI Reconciliation Centre which assisted in the identification of 67 deceased. This paper describes the contribution of DNA analysis towards the DVI response to the 2009 Victorian bushfires disaster.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Blood
  • Bone and Bones / chemistry
  • Burns / pathology
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA Fingerprinting / methods*
  • Disasters*
  • Fires*
  • Forensic Medicine / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA