DNA Methylation Assays for Body Fluid Identification – 2019-048

Human body fluids are commonly encountered at crime scenes, and DNA iscommonly used to match a sample collected from a crime scene with DNA retrievedfrom a suspect to identify a connection of the suspect to the crime scene.Currently, body fluid identification relies on serological or immunologicalmethods that are based on colorimetric detection of protein markers. Because ofthe unspecific presence of many of these markers in different body fluids,several of the current methods are presumptive and cannot confirm the presenceof the suspected body fluids. In addition, some of the methods may require alarge sample and even destroy the sample during testing, both of which areimpractical for forensic specimens. FIU inventors have developed methods and kits for analyzing the levels ofDNA methylation at specific genetic loci (CpG sites), to detect specific humanbody fluids such as blood, saliva, and semen containing sperms. The kitscomprise a reverse and a forward primer designed to amplify a specific locus. Thelevel of methylation at the locus can then be determined by high-resolutionmelt analysis (HRM) or sequencing of the amplicons produced using thespecifically designed primers. Anne Laure Schmitt Olivier aschmitt@fiu.edu 305-348-5948

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