Assessment of body fluid identification and DNA profiling after exposure to tropical weather conditions

Sara C. Zapico, Christian Stadler, Gabriela Roca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite current advances in body fluid identification, there are few studies evaluating the effect of environmental conditions. The present work assessed the detection of body fluids, blood, semen, and saliva, through lateral flow immunochromatographic (LFI) tests, exposed to tropical weather conditions over time, also evaluating the possibility of obtaining STR (short tandem repeat) profiles and identifying mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms. Blood, semen, saliva samples, and mixtures of these fluids were deposited on polyester clothes and exposed to open-air tropical weather conditions for 1 month. The test versions from LFI (SERATEC®, Germany) Lab and crime scene (CS) used for the detection – one per each body fluid type – demonstrated that it is possible to identify body fluids and their mixtures up to 14 days after deposition. At 30 days, blood and semen were detected but not saliva. Full STR profiles were obtained from 14-day-old blood samples, and partial profiles were obtained from the remaining samples. It was possible to sequence mtDNA in the samples previously analyzed for STR profiling, and haplogroups could be assigned. In conclusion, this study demonstrated for the first time the possibility of body fluid identification and DNA profiling after exposure to tropical weather conditions for 1 month and also demonstrated the value of mtDNA analysis for compromised biological evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics

Keywords

  • blood
  • body fluid identification
  • mtDNA
  • saliva
  • semen
  • STRs

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