Screening Test for Shed Skin Cells by Measuring the Ratio of Human DNA toStaphylococcus epidermidisDNA

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Abstract

A novel screening method for shed skin cells by detecting Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis), which is a resident bacterium on skin, was developed. Staphylococcus epidermidis was detected using real-time PCR. Staphylococcus epidermidis was detected in all 20 human skin surface samples. Although not present in blood and urine samples, S. epidermidis was detected in 6 of 20 saliva samples, and 5 of 18 semen samples. The ratio of human DNA to S. epidermidisDNA was significantly smaller in human skin surface samples than in saliva and semen samples in which S. epidermidis was detected. Therefore, although skin cells could not be identified by detecting only S. epidermidis, they could be distinguished by measuring the S. epidermidis to human DNA ratio. This method could be applied to casework touch samples, which suggests that it is useful for screening whether skin cells and human DNA are present on potential evidentiary touch samples.

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