Imputation in genetics refers to statistical inference from unobserved genotypes (not extracted in laboratory analysis). And you may wonder, how is it possible to infer the genotype of a variant that has not been analyzed? What is the accuracy of this?
Genetic imputation is possible thanks to what is known as linkage disequilibrium (LD). When we inherit genetic variants from our parents, we do it in "blocks" as some genes do not segregate independently. This means that they are inherited together more than expected.
This occurs to preserve the blocks of DNA which often have similar and vital functions so that they always go together.
For example, if there is a very high linkage disequilibrium for variants 1 and 23, knowing only the "letters" (alleles) of one of the variants, by statistical inference we can infer the alleles of the other variant, since having a very high LD, in most cases, they are inherited together.
Thanks to this phenomenon that occurs in nature, if for example we have analyzed the AA genotype for variant 1, although we have not analyzed variant 23, we can infer by imputation which alleles you will have at that position in the genome.
This is done with specialized genetic algorithms and databases that contain 100% of the genomic information for a large number of individuals giving the imputation a high statistical value.
Reliability and accuracy of genetic imputation
There is a lot of study, work and effort behind LD and the imputation, giving it extremely high reliability. Such is the confidence in this technology that most research work related to genetic variants uses genetic imputation.
The genetic imputation presents a large number of internal quality controls making this inference extremely reliable (more than 95%), approaching the results obtained in whole genome sequencing, but with a much lower cost.
In the DNA TEST at ADNTRO we use very powerful databases and imputation algorithms that allow us to have a reliability of more than 95%. However, given that it is not an inference with a reliability of 100% and the transparency that characterizes us at ADNTRO, in the event of having one of the variants that define the APOE haplotype We would like to inform you of this.
Remember that if you are already genotyped with another company, you can upload your RAW DNA data for free to ADNTRO.