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The transfer of human DNA by Lucilia cuprina (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

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posted on 2024-06-03, 07:51 authored by Annalisa Durdle, RAH van Oorschot, RJ Mitchell
Blowflies leave deposits, termed artefacts, through the processes of excretion and regurgitation. To date, little consideration has been given to the possibility of adult blowflies consuming biological material and subsequently acting as vectors of human DNA through these artefacts. In this study, Lucilia cuprina (Meigen) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) were fed either human blood or human semen ad libitum and their artefacts were analysed for human DNA content. Samples containing 1, 10, 30 and 50 artefacts were tested. Quantifiable and typeable levels of human DNA were found in samples derived from both food sources, and even in samples containing a single artefact. Semen-derived artefacts contained significantly more human DNA than artefacts produced after a blood meal. Consequently a smaller number of artefacts was required to collect sufficient DNA for genotyping. These findings are forensically important as it provides investigators with another potential source of DNA at a crime scene where a body has been moved, or an attempt has been made to clean up biological material. They also highlight how fly artefacts could potentially contaminate and compromise evidence.

History

Journal

Forensic science international: genetics supplement series

Volume

2

Pagination

180-182

Location

Shannon, Ireland

ISSN

1875-1768

eISSN

1875-175X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2009, Elsevier

Issue

1

Publisher

Elsevier

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