Forensic microbiology is a relatively new discipline, born in part thanks to the development of advanced methodologies for the detection, identification and characterization of microorganisms, and also in relation to the growing impact of infectious diseases of iatrogenic origin. Indeed, the increased application of medical practices, such as transplants, which require immunosuppressive treatments, and the growing demand for prosthetic installations, associated with an increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, have led to a rise in the number of infections of iatrogenic origin, which entails important medico-legal issues. On the other hand, the possibility of detecting minimal amounts of microorganisms, even in the form of residual traces (e.g., their nucleic acids), and of obtaining gene and genomic sequences at contained costs, has made it possible to ask new questions of whether cases of death or illness might have a microbiological origin, with the possibility of also tracing the origin of the microorganisms involved and reconstructing the chain of contagion. In addition to the more obvious applications, such as those mentioned above related to the origin of iatrogenic infections, or to possible cases of infections not properly diagnosed and treated, a less obvious application of forensic microbiology concerns its use in cases of violence or violent death, where the characterization of the microorganisms can contribute to the reconstruction of the case. Finally, paleomicrobiology, e.g., the reconstruction and characterization of microorganisms in historical or even archaeological remnants, can be considered as a sister discipline of forensic microbiology. In this article, we will review these different aspects and applications of forensic microbiology.

Forensic Microbiology: When, Where and How / R. Nodari, M. Arghittu, P. Bailo, C. Cattaneo, R. Creti, F. D’Aleo, V. Saegeman, L. Franceschetti, S. Novati, A. Fernández-Rodríguez, A. Verzeletti, C. Farina, C. Bandi. - In: MICROORGANISMS. - ISSN 2076-2607. - 12:5(2024 May 14), pp. 988.1-988.23. [10.3390/microorganisms12050988]

Forensic Microbiology: When, Where and How

R. Nodari
Primo
;
M. Arghittu;P. Bailo;C. Cattaneo;L. Franceschetti;C. Bandi
Ultimo
2024

Abstract

Forensic microbiology is a relatively new discipline, born in part thanks to the development of advanced methodologies for the detection, identification and characterization of microorganisms, and also in relation to the growing impact of infectious diseases of iatrogenic origin. Indeed, the increased application of medical practices, such as transplants, which require immunosuppressive treatments, and the growing demand for prosthetic installations, associated with an increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance, have led to a rise in the number of infections of iatrogenic origin, which entails important medico-legal issues. On the other hand, the possibility of detecting minimal amounts of microorganisms, even in the form of residual traces (e.g., their nucleic acids), and of obtaining gene and genomic sequences at contained costs, has made it possible to ask new questions of whether cases of death or illness might have a microbiological origin, with the possibility of also tracing the origin of the microorganisms involved and reconstructing the chain of contagion. In addition to the more obvious applications, such as those mentioned above related to the origin of iatrogenic infections, or to possible cases of infections not properly diagnosed and treated, a less obvious application of forensic microbiology concerns its use in cases of violence or violent death, where the characterization of the microorganisms can contribute to the reconstruction of the case. Finally, paleomicrobiology, e.g., the reconstruction and characterization of microorganisms in historical or even archaeological remnants, can be considered as a sister discipline of forensic microbiology. In this article, we will review these different aspects and applications of forensic microbiology.
forensic microbiology; post-mortem; criminalistics; microbiome
Settore BIO/19 - Microbiologia Generale
Settore MED/07 - Microbiologia e Microbiologia Clinica
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
Settore MED/17 - Malattie Infettive
14-mag-2024
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1050848
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