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Kenya DNA Report

Out of Every 30 Men who Undertake a DNA Test, 10 are Raising Children that are not Biologically Theirs

In this report, we review 6,169 DNA profiles from samples obtained for relationship testing in Kenya. We provide information about the most common DNA tests conducted, preferred sample types, ethnic distribution of tests and outcomes, and important statistics. For the first time also, we have determined allele frequencies of the core FBI STR markers in the Kenyan population and calculated statistical parameters of importance in forensics. We compared the number of positive DNA tests versus negative DNA tests (exclusions). Positive tests accounted for 64% of all tests while 32% of all DNA tests turned out negative.

Luhya and Mijikenda men raise more Kids that are not theirs Compared to Men of other Tribes

By number, Mijikenda men accounted for the majority of exclusions. However, Luhya men brought in more children per head for testing and had multiple children for each man testing negative.

Majority of Tests Done by Somalis are done to Help them Connect with Long Lost Relatives

Majority of tests done by Somalis are done to help them connect with long lost relatives.

Even though Somalis accounted for only 3.2% of all DNA tests, they had one of the highest exclusion rates.

Exclusion rates for Kikuyu, Kamba, Mery, Maasai and Embu men was below the national average

Embu and Maasai men had the lowest exclusion rates


40% of all DNA Tests in Kenya were Carried out by Kikuyu Men

Nearly 40% of all tests were carried out by Kikuyu men.

83% of all DNA tests in Kenya were carried out by Kikuyu, Luo, Kamba, Luhya, Kalenjin, and Kisii Men.

Luos (12%), Kambas (9.5%), Luhya (9.0%), Kalenjins (6.7%) and Kisii (6.0%) followed in that order.

If you exclude Caucasians and Non-Kenyan Africans, the rest of the 36 tribes accounted for less than 10% of all DNA tests conducted in Kenya.

DNA Tests by Tribe in Kenya

95% of all DNA Tests in Kenya are Done using Mouth Swab Samples

Mouth swabs94.8%
Ear Wax0.1%
Extracted DNA0.1%
Clothing items0.0%
Human Tissue0.0%

Testing of DNA can be done using a variety of samples. Standard samples for DNA testing include mouth swabs and blood. Non-standard samples include nails, frequently used toothbrush, semen, chewing gum, earwax, razor, handkerchief, human tissue, teeth, bones, and drinking straws.

The most popular samples were mouth swabs which accounted for 95% of all submitted samples. Mouth swabs are usually preferred because they are non-invasive and can be collected painlessly, easily and discreetly. These samples can be collected at home and transported over long distances to the laboratory for analysis without any encumbrances. They also produce a good yield of quality DNA.

Nails were the second most popular samples. Nails are preferable because they can also be collected painlessly at home and transported over long distances to the laboratory for analysis without any encumbrances. The third most popular sample was toothbrushes.

Blood was a less popular choice as only 0.6% of samples analysed were blood samples. blood was less popular mainly due to the invasive nature of collection that requires collection by a medical professional. Many of those testing required a sample collection method that allowed them to get samples discreetly, painlessly and easily without the need for cold storage during transportation. Transportation of blood samples to the lab is also a limiting factor.

The least popular sample types were razors, human tissue, clothing items, ear wax and semen.

94% of all DNA Tests are Conducted for Paternity Determination


Paternity tests were the most popular and accounted for 94% of all DNA tests

Where parents’ samples are unavailable, majority of people prefer to check for paternity using their brothers’ or sisters’ samples. Siblingship tests were the second most popular and accounted for 2% of all DNA tests

Single profile tests are conducted for purposes of DNA Banking or comparison with tests from other labs or banked DNA Profiles. Single profile tests were the third most popular DNA tests and accounted for 1.7% of all DNA tests

Very Few women take part in DNA Tests. Maternity tests accounted for only 0.8% of all DNA Tests. All women who suspected that their babies had been switched at birth were proven wrong.

Legal vs Non-Legal Testing

Majority of DNA tests are Done Discreetly for Personal Knowledge

Majority of DNA tests are done discreetly for personal knowledge.

93% of all DNA tests were non-legal tests. Only 7% of all tests were conducted for legal purposes.


Paternity of Unborn Children

Paternity of children can be ascertained before they are born. The invasive prenatal DNA test

is done to determine if a particular man is the biological father of an unborn child and is performed between week 16-20 of pregnancy. It is 99.99% accurate and is based on comparison of 24 genetic markers between the mother, unborn baby, and the alleged father. Samples used are amniotic fluid from the mother and alleged father’s sample (mouth swab)

The Non-invasive prenatal (NIPT) DNA test determines the paternity of the unborn child from as early as week 8 of pregnancy after the last menstrual period. Unlike the invasive prenatal DNA test, the NIPT test is 100% safe to the mother and child because fetal cells are obtained from maternal plasma and there’s no need of amniocentesis.

“Even though the NIPT Test is 4 times more expensive than the Invasive prenatal Test, more women chose to conduct the NIPT Test to determine their children’s paternity”

Prenatal DNA Test popularity in Keya

4.3% of all DNA Cases can be Incorrectly Concluded to be Negative while they’re in fact Positive due to Mutations

In 4.3% of all tested cases, single incompatibilities in one marker system were observed. However, this is not sufficient for exclusion of paternity, but can be considered as a mutation event. The biostatistical analysis of the PCR marker systems were performed according to the method of Essen-Möller and the mutation events included in the calculation. Results were issued as positive and based on the assumption that no other near relative (father, brother) can also be considered as possible fathers. It is possible for laboratories that are not staffed by adequately trained scientists to incorrectly issue such reports where mutations have taken place as negative reports instead of positive reports.

We also identified two cases displaying triallelic patterns at a single STR locus. This is the first time that such findings are being reported in Kenya.

Few Cases of XXY Females have been Reported Worldwide. Using DNA Analysis, we Report for the First Time an XXY Female in Kenya

One case of XXY female was detected using DNA testing. This is indicative of Klinefelter Syndrome. Two XX males, all from the Kamba Tribe, were identified separately.


Paternity calculations for samples from Africa are usually based on African American population data. Is it possible that DNA test reports from Kenya and other African countries are incorrectly computed?

Using data from the 6,169 people, we tabulated the STR frequencies of the universal markers used in relationship testing and compared this with previously published data from African Americans. No significant difference was observed between Kenyan frequencies and previously published African American frequencies (p>0.05, CI=95%). The Kenyan population data is in Hardy Weinberg equilibrium. This implies that the paternity indices calculated for Kenyans using the FBI African American datasets when determining paternity are accurate. The corollary is that African American frequency data by FBI and Promega can be accurately used to compute PIs of Kenyans during paternity testing.

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