DNA profiling of bacteria from human hair: potential and pitfalls

Silvana Tridico, Daithi Murray, Michael Bunce, Kenneth Kirkbride

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Human hair is one of the most ubiquitous types of biological trace evidence encountered in forensic investigations. However, despite their prevalence, there is a paucity of research regarding the usage of metagenomic analysis applied to human hair as a tool in the forensic molecular toolkit. Recent studies have provided a glimpse into the forensic potential of metagenomic analyses of bacteria present on scalp and pubic hairs as a means of demonstrating contact between individuals. The most promising avenue for bacterial DNA profiling appears to lie with niche-specific bacteria that colonize hair from the female urinogenital area. However, the evaluation of metagenomic analyses of human hair in forensic investigations is still in its infancy, the true potential of this novel technique can only be realized by further, more targeted and nuanced research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationForensic Microbiology
    EditorsDavid O. Carter, Jeffery K. Tomberlin, M. Eric Benbow, Jessica L. Metcalf
    Place of PublicationChichester, West Sussex
    PublisherWiley
    Pages358-375
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781119062585
    ISBN (Print)9781119062554
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

    Keywords

    • DNA profiling
    • bacteria
    • human hair
    • forensic science
    • forensic substrate

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