Dandruff as a potential source of DNA in forensic casework

Miguel Lorente, Carmen Entrala, Jose A. Lorente, J. Carlos Alvarez, Enrique Villanueva, Bruce Budowle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Dandruff is a clinical alteration of the skin that consists histologically of orthokeratotic clumps with minute parakeratotic loci found in inflammatory pathologies such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. Therefore, some nucleated cells should be found in dandruff and hence there is a possibility that forensically typeable DNA could be extracted from dandruff. Because of a particular case in which we were involved, a study was carried out to determine whether or not DNA could be extracted from dandruff, and if the two most widely used extraction techniques (Chelex and organic) would be applicable. Results show that sufficient quantities of DNA (more than 30 to 40 ng) can be obtained from as little as 1.0 to 1.5 mg of dandruff. Both methods yield DNA, although the organic procedure seems to yield more (72.5 ng Chelex vs. 183.3 ng organic). All the DNA samples extracted were typed correctly for the loci HUMTH01 and HUMvWA. Therefore, dandruff can be considered a potential source of DNA for forensic identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-902
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • DNA typing
  • Dandruff
  • Forensic science
  • HUMTH01
  • HUMvWA
  • Polymerase chain reaction


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