Shedder status: Exploring means of determination

M. Goray, R. A.H. van Oorschot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


“Shedder status” or “shedder type” are commonly used terms that categorise an individual based on their ability to deposit “touch” DNA via direct contact with a surface. However, it is not yet clear how best to categorise an individual into a shedder class, or how to allocate a shedder score on a sliding scale. This study considers categorisation of participants into discrete shedder categories based on DNA quantity and profile quality data, the maintenance of their shedder status over an extended period, and explores whether different methods of deposition or collection directly from hands or other body areas are interchangeable and/or more appropriate means of determining an individual's shedder status. The shedder categorisation of participants was possible from their handprints and remained unchanged over three years. Washing hands had limited impact and shedder categorisation was not readily possible from samples collected directly from hands, other body areas or gloves after wearing gloves for a set duration. Use of consecutive deposits may assist in establishing a participant's shedder status. As shedder categorisation may be of relevance during activity level assessments further efforts towards the ability to do so are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalScience and Justice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Foreign DNA
  • Forensic
  • Shedder
  • Touch DNA
  • Transfer


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