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The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in short tandem repeat (STR) profile quality before and after fixed orthodontic therapy. Samples of oral epithelial cells were obtained from 28 volunteers who had an indication for orthodontic treatment. The samples were collected before and three months after starting orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances. DNA extraction and integrity were evaluated by electrophoresis, and STR profiles were obtained by polymerase chain reaction amplification and STR typing via capillary electrophoresis. DNA electrophoresis showed a higher proportion (7/28, 25%) of DNA degradation in the samples collected after fixed orthodontic treatment compared to those obtained before starting orthodontic therapy (3/28, 11%), however, changes in DNA were not significant (p=0.289). In concordance all STR profiles showed complete genotyping; however, imbalances in the size of heterozygotes and in the signal were detected in 25% of STR profiles after orthodontic therapy. Moreover, STR instability was demonstrated by an increase in stutter bands detected in 60% of the DNA profiles after treatment and a spurious allele of the D195433 marker was found in one sample after treatment. The STR profiles of samples obtained from the oral cavity with orthodontic appliances should be interpreted with caution. STR instability increases the incidence of artifacts that could compromise the quality of the results of tests performed in forensic DNA laboratories. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


Arturo Rafael Díaz-Rojas, Lucía Angeles-Estrada, Nadia Mabel Pérez Vielma, Virginia Sánchez-Monroy. Short tandem repeat (STR) instability in the oral mucosa of patients submitted to fixed orthodontic therapy: a limitation of STR profile quality for human identification. Forensic science, medicine, and pathology. 2022 Mar;18(1):57-63

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PMID: 35098422

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