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Quantifiler® Trio Kit and forensic samples management: A matter of degradation

      Highlights

      • We test the effectiveness of Quantifiler® Trio Kit in detecting DNA degradation.
      • The Quantifiler® Trio Kit is evaluated in combination with Globalfiler® Kit.
      • The Degradation Index is evaluated by studying the peak height decay in the profile.
      • Typing performance was evaluated for different PCR protocols and DI categories.
      • Operative guidelines are proposed to differentiate PCR strategy at increasing of DI.

      Abstract

      DNA collected from crime scenes may have experienced different levels of degradation. This is mainly due to sample exposure to different environmental factors. The impact of DNA degradation on short tandem repeat (STR) profiling can lead to partial or null information and in some cases, the identification of the trace may fail. The availability of a system enabling the assessment not only of the quantity of the DNA but also of its quality in terms of degradation would result in shorter time for sample processing, more reliable identifications and cost reduction by predicting the quality of the DNA profiles prior to STR analysis. We report here a study on 181 selected degraded DNA samples extracted from real crime scene evidence. The selected samples were processed by combining the use of a new commercial quantification kit (Quantifiler® Trio) with a new 24 marker multiplex PCR amplification kit (Globalfiler® Kit). Applying different statistical analyses we investigated the reliability of the Degradation Index provided by the Quantifiler® Trio in determining the level of DNA degradation in a forensic sample. This useful information can be used to predict the quality of the profile obtained after STR amplification. The combination of such a quantification kit with different PCR protocols allowed us to define practical guidelines for processing degraded forensic DNA samples with a simplified and comprehensive approach.

      Keywords

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