Uncertainty in the number of contributors in the proposed new CODIS set

The probability that multiple contributors are detected within a forensic DNA profile improves as more highly polymorphic loci are analysed. The assignment of the correct number of contributors to a profile is important when interpreting the DNA profiles. In this work we investigate the probability of a mixed DNA profile appearing as having originated from a fewer number of contributors for the African American, Asian, Caucasian and Hispanic US populations. We investigate a range of locus configurations from the proposed new CODIS set. These theoretical calculations are based on allele frequencies only and ignore peak heights. We show that the probability of a higher order mixture (five or six contributors) appearing as having originated from one less individual is high. This probability decreases as the number of loci tested increases.