Nowadays, the diagnostic value of postmortem microbiological investigations is still a debated topic, but postmortem microbiology (PMM) remains a discipline with great forensic potential. To evaluate the usefulness and diagnostic-forensic value of postmortem microbiological cultures, it has been conducted a study on cadaveric material sampled during autopsy aiming to identify the correct cause of death. The study analyzed 45 cadavers subjected to judicial autopsy, divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of external or internal macroscopic autopsy signs suggesting infectious pathology. In the same cases, both the microbiological and conventional histological investigations have been simultaneously carried out. From the investigations, mono-bacterial, mono-fungal, mixed and negative cultures were observed. In mono-species microbiological growth, the histological epicrisis confirmed an infectious cause of death due to the presence of signs of acute infection with an aggressive infectious agent. In cases where growth was mixed, it was possible to distinguish between simple postmortal contamination and perimortem colonization. Finally, in some cases where the microbiology was negative, this has been essential in highlighting signs of a vital reaction to viral or parasitic infection. The joint and integrated evaluation of the laboratory results made it possible to correctly understand even those peculiar situations in which the PMM results alone would not have been significant. These methods, when combined, constitute an optimal forensic approach for the identification of the real cause of death and thus reduce the number of unsolved cases.

Utility and diagnostic value of postmortem microbiology associated with histology for forensic purposes / S. Tambuzzi, F. Maciocco, G. Gentile, M. Boracchi, C. Faraone, S. Andreola, R. Zoja. - In: FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0379-0738. - 342:(2023 Jan), pp. 111534.1-111534.11. [10.1016/j.forsciint.2022.111534]

Utility and diagnostic value of postmortem microbiology associated with histology for forensic purposes

S. Tambuzzi
Primo
;
G. Gentile
;
C. Faraone;R. Zoja
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

Nowadays, the diagnostic value of postmortem microbiological investigations is still a debated topic, but postmortem microbiology (PMM) remains a discipline with great forensic potential. To evaluate the usefulness and diagnostic-forensic value of postmortem microbiological cultures, it has been conducted a study on cadaveric material sampled during autopsy aiming to identify the correct cause of death. The study analyzed 45 cadavers subjected to judicial autopsy, divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of external or internal macroscopic autopsy signs suggesting infectious pathology. In the same cases, both the microbiological and conventional histological investigations have been simultaneously carried out. From the investigations, mono-bacterial, mono-fungal, mixed and negative cultures were observed. In mono-species microbiological growth, the histological epicrisis confirmed an infectious cause of death due to the presence of signs of acute infection with an aggressive infectious agent. In cases where growth was mixed, it was possible to distinguish between simple postmortal contamination and perimortem colonization. Finally, in some cases where the microbiology was negative, this has been essential in highlighting signs of a vital reaction to viral or parasitic infection. The joint and integrated evaluation of the laboratory results made it possible to correctly understand even those peculiar situations in which the PMM results alone would not have been significant. These methods, when combined, constitute an optimal forensic approach for the identification of the real cause of death and thus reduce the number of unsolved cases.
Postmortem microbiology; Microbes; Histology; Forensic pathology; Autopsy;
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
gen-2023
dic-2022
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/949048
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