Microbial forensics: From epidemiology to crime investigations

Antti Sajantila, Bruce Budowle

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


Forensic DNA analysis has been used predominantly for comparison, either directly or indirectly, of crime scene evidence and known reference samples from human suspects in a variety of situations, such as analyzing a biospecimen(s) from a crime scene, identifying unidentified cadavers (or other human remains) in a postmortem setting, or kinship testing. The field of forensic genetics has recently expanded from its original focus on human samples to more holistic methods of characterization of the source(s) of biological samples. This progression has been motivated in part by technological advancements, from targeted PCR-based methods to higher throughput DNA sequencing methods, with concomitant bioinformatics to support the increased data output. One of the new areas in forensic genetics facilitating the expansion of forensic genomics is the field of microbial forensics. Microbial forensics involves bioterrorism, biocrime, human identification, determining postmortem interval, human geolocation, and body fluid identification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSilent Witness
Subtitle of host publicationForensic DNA Evidence in Criminal Investigations and Humanitarian Disasters
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780190909444
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Biocrime
  • Bioterrorism
  • DNA sequencing
  • Epidemiology
  • Forensic microbiology
  • Human identification
  • Microbial forensics


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