DNAxs/DNAStatistX: Development and validation of a software suite for the data management and probabilistic interpretation of DNA profiles

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The data management, interpretation and comparison of sets of DNA profiles can be complex, time-consuming and error-prone when performed manually. This, combined with the growing numbers of genetic markers in forensic identification systems calls for expert systems that can automatically compare genotyping results within (large) sets of DNA profiles and assist in profile interpretation. To that aim, we developed a user-friendly software program or DNA eXpert System that is denoted DNAxs. This software includes features to view, infer and match autosomal short tandem repeat profiles with connectivity to up and downstream software programs. Furthermore, DNAxs has imbedded the ‘DNAStatistX’ module, a statistical library that contains a probabilistic algorithm to calculate likelihood ratios (LRs). This algorithm is largely based on the source code of the quantitative probabilistic genotyping system EuroForMix [1]. The statistical library, DNAStatistX, supports parallel computing which can be delegated to a computer cluster and enables automated queuing of requested LR calculations. DNAStatistX is written in Java and is accessible separately or via DNAxs. Using true and non-contributors to DNA profiles with up to four contributors, the DNAStatistX accuracy and precision were assessed by comparing the DNAStatistX results to those of EuroForMix. Results were the same up to rare differences that could be attributed to the different optimizers used in both software programs. Implementation of dye specific detection thresholds resulted in larger likelihood values and thus a better explanation of the data used in this study. Furthermore, processing time, robustness of DNAStatistX results and the circumstances under which model validations failed were examined. Finally, guidelines for application of the software are shared as an example. The DNAxs software is future-proof as it applies a modular approach by which novel functionalities can be incorporated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
Early online date21 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


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