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Forensic Sci Int. 2001 Dec 15;124(1):55-61.

Non-fatherhood or mutation? A probabilistic approach to parental exclusion in paternity testing.

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Department of Statistical Science, University College London, London, UK.


The occurrence of germline mutations at microsatellite loci poses problems in ascertaining non-fatherhood status in paternity testing. We describe the appropriate probabilistic analysis for computing the likelihood ratio in favour of paternity while allowing for mutation, for all 18 relevant combinations of seemingly incompatible parental genotypes. We allow arbitrary and possibly different mutation rates in paternal and maternal germlines. We describe a stationary mutation model for expressing the required allele-specific transition mutation rates in terms of overall mutation rates, and compare the likelihood ratios calculated from this and from other mutation models suggested in the literature. We also show how to derive an upper bound on the likelihood ratio, depending only on the overall mutation rate.

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