The detection and identification of saliva in forensic samples by RT-LAMP

Li-Chin Tsai, Chih-Wen Su, James Chun-l Lee, Yu-Sheng Lu, Hsuan-Cheng Chen, Yu-Chih Lin, Adrian Linacre, Hsing-Mei Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We report on a novel method for saliva identification by reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP). In our previous report, real-time RT-LAMP was used for blood identification by using HBB detection as a model but in this advanced study, this method was refined for the identification of the more challenging body fluid of saliva. Expression of the18S rRNA gene was used as the internal control and the Statherin (STATH) gene as the saliva-specific marker. A turbidimeter was used for real-time detection of the RT-LAMP products, and confirmation was obtained that the real products were generated using: agarose gel electrophoresis, calcein fluorescence detection and/or enzymatic digestion. The specificity of the test was performed using 42 samples including 7 different body fluids, and the expression of STATH was only observed in all the saliva samples (6) with a threshold time of 39.4 ± 2.9 min. Sensitivity testing showed that RT-LAMP products for STATH were stably detected when the RNA template was not less than 6.25 ng. When the primer concentrations for STATH were two times that of 18S rRNA, saliva could be identified in the body fluid mixtures even at a ratio (saliva:semen) of 1:3 (without loop primer)/1:5 (with loop primer). A multiplex RT-LAMP was established to simultaneously amplify the 18S rRNA and STATH genes, and applied to the identification of saliva on ten non-probative cigarette butts. A positive result for saliva was obtained from all ten butts, even for those that returned a negative or ambiguous result using the amylase test. A direct RT-LAMP test is also reported where the RNA extraction step was omitted to speed the collection of data and all tests using either the simplex or multiplex RT-LAMP resulted in a positive response if saliva was present. Our data provide a simple and effective means to detect the presence of saliva.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-477
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Issue number4
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Multiplex RT-LAMP
  • Non-probative evidence samples
  • Saliva identification
  • Statherin (STATH)


Dive into the research topics of 'The detection and identification of saliva in forensic samples by RT-LAMP'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this