Forensic human identification using skin microbiome genetic signatures

Sarah E. Schmedes, August Woerner, Bruce Budowle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The field of microbial forensics has expanded from a focus on biodefense and biocrime attribution to include various metagenomics and microbiome applications made possible by advancements in sequencing technologies and bioinformatics. Recent developments in metagenomics and microbiome research with application to the forensic sciences include estimation of the postmortem interval, body fluid identification, recent geolocation, and human identification. This chapter summarizes the work on the use of human microbiome markers to potentially identify individuals, who may have shed their microbes while touching objects. These microbial forensics applications may substantially enhance capabilities to characterize trace biological samples for human identification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrobial Forensics
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780128153796
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Attribution
  • Clade-specific markers
  • Human identity
  • Human microbiome
  • Machine learning
  • Massively parallel sequencing


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