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Oral Microbiome May Help Determine Time of Death

Oral Microbiome May Help Determine Time of Death In a development that may prove beneficial to forensic efforts, researchers at the University of Girona in Spain report that examining changes in the oral microbiome may help accurately determine time of

Oral Microbiome May Help Determine Time of Death

In

a development that may prove beneficial to forensic efforts, researchers at the

University of Girona in Spain report that examining changes in the oral microbiome

may help accurately determine time of death. Studying three cadavers donated to

the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center, the investigators

monitored the microbiota to identify signature bacterial taxa. Oral swabs were

taken daily from the subjects (one male and two female) during various stages

of decomposition.

“Microorganisms

coexist with us during life, playing an important role in both health and

disease. Upon death, and as the decomposition process advances, bacterial

communities change according to the newly set environmental conditions,”

reports Joe Adserias-Garriga, DDS, PhD, D-ABFO, lead author of the study.

Published in Molecular Oral Microbiology,

the paper, “Dynamics of the Oral Microbiota as a Tool to Estimate Time Since

Death,”

notes the cadavers

“showed similar overall successional changes during the decomposition process.”

This led the team to suggest that examining the oral microbiota may help forensic

scientists establish time of death more accurately during their investigations.

Hygiene Connection E-Newsletter
September 2017

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