TitleBayesian spatial modeling of haplotype associations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsThomas, DC, Stram, DO, Conti, D, Molitor, J, Marjoram, P
JournalHuman heredity
Date Published2003
KeywordsPolymorphism, Single Nucleotide

We review methods for relating the risk of disease to a collection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within a small region. Association studies using case-control designs with unrelated individuals could be used either to test for a direct effect of a candidate gene and characterize the responsible variant(s), or to fine map an unknown gene by exploiting the pattern of linkage disequilibrium (LD). We consider a flexible class of logistic penetrance models based on haplotypes and compare them with an alternative formulation based on unphased multilocus genotypes. The likelihood for haplotype-based models requires summation over all possible haplotype assignments consistent with the observed genotype data, and can be fitted using either Expectation-Maximization (E-M) or Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. Subtleties involving ascertainment correction for case-control studies are discussed. There has been great interest in methods for LD mapping based on the coalescent or ancestral recombination graphs as well as methods based on haplotype sharing, both of which we review briefly. Because of their computational complexity, we propose some alternative empirical modeling approaches using techniques borrowed from the Bayesian spatial statistics literature. Here, space is interpreted in terms of a distance metric describing the similarity of any pair of haplotypes to each other, and hence their presumed common ancestry. Specifically, we discuss the conditional autoregressive model and two spatial clustering models: Potts and Voronoi. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these methods for modeling cryptic relatedness, haplotype blocks, and haplotype tagging SNPs, and suggest a Bayesian framework for the HapMap project.