A bayesian approach to the transmission/disequilibrium test for binary traits

Varghese George, Purushottam W. Laud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) for binary traits is a powerful method for detecting linkage between a marker locus and a trait locus in the presence of allelic association. The TDT uses information on the parent-to-offspring transmission status of the associated allele at the marker locus to assess linkage or association in the presence of the other, using one affected offspring from each set of parents. For testing for linkage in the presence of association, more than one offspring per family can be used. However, without incorporating the correlation structure among offspring, it is not possible to correctly assess the association in the presence of linkage. In this presentation, we propose a Bayesian TDT method as a complementary alternative to the classical approach. In the hypothesis testing setup, given two competing hypotheses, the Bayes factor can be used to weigh the evidence in favor of one of them, thus allowing us to decide between the two hypotheses using established criteria. We compare the proposed Bayesian TDT with a competing frequentist-testing method with respect to power and type I error validity. If we know the mode of inheritance of the disease, then the joint and marginal posterior distributions for the recombination fraction (θ) and disequilibrium coefficient (δ) can be obtained via standard MCMC methods, which lead naturally to Bayesian credible intervals for both parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalGenetic Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Association
  • Bayes factor
  • Credible interval
  • Likelihood
  • Linkage
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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