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Investigation into the presence and transfer of microbiomes within a forensic laboratory setting

Version 2 2024-06-04, 11:13
Version 1 2021-03-11, 10:33
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 11:13 authored by Ana NeckovicAna Neckovic, RAH van Oorschot, Bianca SzkutaBianca Szkuta, Annalisa Durdle
Microbial profiling within forensic science is an emerging field that may have applications in the identification of individuals using microbial signatures. It is important to determine if microbial transfer may occur within a forensic laboratory setting using current standard operating procedures (SOPs) for nuclear DNA recovery, to assess the suitability of such procedures for microbial profiling and establish the potential limitations of microbial profiling for forensic purposes. This preliminary study investigated the presence and potential transfer of human-associated microbiomes within a forensic laboratory. Swabs of laboratory surfaces, external surfaces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and equipment were taken before and after mock examinations of cotton swatches, which harboured microbiota transferred from direct hand-contact. Microbial profiles obtained from these samples were compared to reference profiles obtained from the participants, cotton swatches and the researcher to detect microbial transfer from the individuals and determine potential source contributions. The results revealed an apparent transfer of microbiota to the examined swatches, laboratory equipment and surfaces from the participants and/or researcher following the mock examinations, highlighting potential contamination issues regarding microbial profiling when using current laboratory SOPs for nuclear DNA recovery, and cleaning.

History

Journal

Forensic Science International: Genetics

Volume

52

Article number

ARTN 102492

Pagination

1 - 13

Location

Netherlands

ISSN

1872-4973

eISSN

1878-0326

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD