<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 27, Issue 3, September 2019

Rom J Leg Med27(3)297-299(2019)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Mummified human DNA extraction from larvae: a difficult genetic analysis. A case report and a brief review of the literature

M. Sanavio, P. Tozzo, P. Nespeca, L. Caenazzo

Abstract: The analysis of the insects (Forensic Entomology) present on the corpses is a new frontier of forensic sciences useful for the medico-legal evaluation, in order to extract human DNA and facilitate the estimation of the post-mortem interval (PMI). We present the case of an unidentified and mummified body, colonized by insects at different developmental stages. We sampled the larvae present in the dead body, in order to extract human DNA, according to the protocols here described. Our analysis found no trace of human genetic material in larvae s puparia and crops. The lack of studies on the larval digestive process prevents us from calculating the time necessary for the complete degradation of the ingested tissues. Similarly, it is not possible to quantify the degradation time of human DNA, in cases where it has already been severely altered by post-mortem alterations. This case report adds to the scarce literature available on the human DNA extraction from insects and highlights the analytical challenge due to post-mortem tissue degradation in order to improve our knowledge in this context.
Keywords: forensic genetics, forensic entomology, personal identification.

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