Identification of body fluids found at crime scenes provides important information that can support a link between sample donors and actual criminal acts. Previous studies have reported that DNA methylation analysis at several tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) enables successful identification of semen, and the detection of certain bacterial DNA can allow for identification of saliva and vaginal fluid. In the present study, a method for detecting bacterial DNA was integrated into a previously reported multiplex methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme-polymerase chain reaction. The developed multiplex PCR was modified by the addition of a new semen-specific marker and by including amplicons for the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of saliva- and vaginal fluid-specific bacteria to improve the efficacy to detect a specific type of body fluid. Using the developed multiplex system, semen was distinguishable by unmethylation at the USP49, DACT1, and PFN3 tDMRs and by hypermethylation at L81528, and saliva could be identified by detection of saliva-specific bacteria, Veillonella atypica and/or Streptococcus salivarius. Additionally, vaginal fluid and menstrual blood were differentiated from other body fluids by hypomethylation at the PFN3 tDMR and the presence of vaginal fluid-specific bacteria, Lactobacillus crispatus and/or Lactobacillus gasseri. Because the developed multiplex system uses the same biological source of DNA for individual identification profiling and simultaneously analyses various types of body fluid in one PCR reaction, this method will facilitate more efficient body fluid identification in forensic casework.
- Body fluid identification
- DNA methylation
- Methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme-polymerase chain reaction