Forensic Microbiology, an Important Tool in Crime Investigation

Main Article Content

Ali Mohamed Elshafei

Abstract

Forensic science is the application of science to civil and criminal laws, also called as “criminalistics”. Its branches are rooted in every branch of science and many other aspects of modern society. Forensic scientists are responsible to analyze scientific evidence during the course of investigation either by travelling to the scene of the crime or by performing analysis on objects in the laboratory. Forensic microbiology is the science by which microorganisms ‘behaviors are used to determine the origin of a particular microbial strain, the path of an outbreak or the identity of a criminal. Recently there has been a significant development in forensic microbiology as a result of the significant development in molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry sciences. It was found that the rapid identification and classification of infectious microorganisms are of great importance in the case of biological and microbial threat, and the analysis of the microbial genome sequence, whose cost has decreased significantly in recent years, greatly helps in this area.

Keywords:
Microbial forensic, crime scene investigation, bioterrorism, bio-threat, pathogens, techniques

Article Details

How to Cite
Elshafei, A. M. (2020). Forensic Microbiology, an Important Tool in Crime Investigation. South Asian Journal of Research in Microbiology, 6(2), 33-38. https://doi.org/10.9734/sajrm/2020/v6i230147
Section
Review Article

References

Budowle B, Schutzer SE, Einseln A, Kelley LC, Walsh AC, Smith JAL, Marrone BL, Robertson J, and Campos J. Building microbial forensics as a response to bioterrorism. Science. 2003;301:1852–1853.
DOI:10.1126/science.1090083

Morse SA, Budowle B. Microbial forensics: Application to bioterrorism preparedness and response. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2006;20:455–473. DOI:10.1016/j.idc.2006.03.004

Taylor LH, Latham SM, Woolhouse MEJ. Risk factors for human disease emergence. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2001;356:983–989.
DOI:10.1098/rstb.2001.0888

Schulfer A, Blaser MJ. Risks of antibiotic exposures early in life on the developing microbiome. PLoS Pathog. 2015;11: e1004903. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004903

Petrof EO, Gloor GB, Vanner SJ, Weese SJ, Carter D, Daigneault MC, Brown EM, Schroeter K, Allen-Vercoe E. Stool substitute transplant therapy for the eradication of Clostridium difficile infection: “RePOOPulating” the gut. Microbiome. 2013;1:3.
DOI:10.1186/2049-2618-1-3

Cho I, Blaser MJ. The human microbiome: At the interface of health and disease. Nat Rev Genet. 2012;13:260–270.

Carus WS. Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents Since 1900. 8th rev. Washington, DC: Center for Counterproliferation Research, National Defense University; 2001.

Brotcke A, Weiss DS, Kim CC, Chain P, Malfatti S, Garcia E, Monack DM. Identification of MglA-regulated genes reveals novel virulence factors in Francisella tularensis. Infect Immun. 2006; 74:6642-6655.

Hoffmaster AR, Hill KK, Gee lE, Marston CK, De BK, Popovic T, Sue D, Wilkins PP, Avashia SB, Dromgoole R, et al. Characterization of Bacillus cereus isolates associated with fatal pneumonias: Strains are closely related to Bacillus anthracis and harbor B. anthracis virulence genes. J Clio Microbiol. 2006;44:3352-3360.

González-Candelas F, Bracho MA, Wróbel B, Moya A. Molecular evolution in court: Analysis of a large hepatitis C virus outbreak from an evolving source. BMC Biol. 2013;11:76.
DOI:10.1186/1741-7007-11-76

Scaduto DI, Brown JM, Haaland WC, Zwickl DJ, Hillis DM, Metzker ML. Source identification in two criminal cases using phylogenetic analysis of HIV-1 DNA sequences. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107:21242–21247. Doi:10.1073/pnas.1015673107

Murch R. Exploring an International Microbial Forensics Capability to Support Attribution and Advance Global Biosecurity; Presentation at Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the BWC; November 2, 2010; Beijing, China; 2010.

NRC. The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2007.

Dubay L. BioOptics World. 2013. [April 10, 2014]. (Next-gen DNA sequencing system receives FDA approval for clinical use). Available:http://www.bioopticsworld.com/articles/2013/11/next-gen-dna-sequencing-system-receives-fda-approval-for-clinical-use.html

Lander ES. Initial impact of the sequencing of the human genome. Nature. 2011;470: 187–197.
DOI: 10.1038/nature09792

Johnson RC, Kalb SR, Barr JR. Chapter 24 in Microbial Forensics. 2nd. Budowle B, Schutzer SE, Breeze RG, Keim PS, Morse SA, editors. Burlington, MA: Academic Press; (Toxin analysis, using mass spectrometry); 2011.

Michael JR, Brewer LN, Kotula PG. Chapter 25 in Microbial Forensics. 2nd. Budowle B, Schutzer SE, Breeze RG, Keim PS, Morse SA, editors. Burlington, MA: Academic Press; (Electron beam-based methods for bioforensic investigations); 2011.

Fricke WF, Cebula TA, Ravel J. Chapter 28 in Microbial Forensics. 2nd. Budowle B, Schutzer SE, Breeze RG, Keim PS, Morse SA, editors. Burlington, MA: Academic Press; 2010. (Genomics).

Parla J, Kramer M, McCombie WR. Chapter 27 in Microbial Forensics. 2nd. Budowle B, Schutzer SE, Breeze RG, Keim PS, Morse SA, editors. Burlington, MA: Academic Press (High-throughput sequencing); 2011.

Quail MA, Smith M, Coupland P, Otto TD, Harris SR, Connor TR, Bertoni A, Swerdlow HP, Gu Y. A tale of three next generation sequencing platforms: Comparison of Ion Torrent, Pacific Biosciences and Illumina MiSeq sequencers. BMC Genomics. 2012;13: 341.

Jünemann S, Sedlazeck FJ, Prior K, Albersmeier A, John U, Kalinowski J, Mellman AG, von Haeseler A, Stoye J, Harmsen D. Updating benchtop sequencing performance comparison. Nature Biotechnology. 2013;31:294–296.