The possibility of molecular genetic identity testing of an unidentified body from the second world war

Elena Yu. Zemskova, Pavel L. Ivanov
2021 Russian Journal of Forensic Medicine  
In the current forensic scenario, molecular genetic analyzes are used to identify the remains of victims of natural and man-made disasters, emergencies, and war conflicts. Aim: This study aimed to summarize forensic molecular genetic examinations conducted at the RCFME for identifying the victims of the Second World War in the Russian Federation. This was conducted to assess the prospects of using DNA identification analysis for unidentified remains of bodies buried in 19391945. Material and
more » ... hods: We studied 30 expert reports from 2007 to 2021 of 171 skeletal bodies from exhumed graves. The total number of objects studied was 421 (bone fragments and teeth, from 1 to 5 objects from 1 body). Results: Using the remains, genotypes of 167 people were established. The success rate of evidence-based molecular genetic identification was 98% (171 cases). Of these, positive identification was noted for 10 body remains and negative identification for 157 remains. Four skeletal bodies (2%) were deemed unsuitable for research. In most cases, indirect identification schemes were used a comparative study with putative relatives by biostatistical analysis of allelic variants of polymorphic loci of autosomal DNA as well as by direct comparative analysis of the polymorphism at the Y-chromosome DNA and mitochondrial DNA. Conclusions: Molecular genetic studies are highly effective for identifying the remains of victims of natural and man-made disasters, military conflicts, and other emergencies. The success of molecular genetic studies regarding the identification of victims of the Second World War conducted at the RCFME clearly demonstrate these possibilities. Simultaneously, it should be emphasized that this type of expertise falls to the category of rather complex molecular genetic studies, which requires the use of expanded panels of analytical test systems as well as the use of special methodological techniques and hardware and software.
doi:10.17816/fm379 fatcat:6sef7o2htvbhvbgz4hpb7r6g54