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Microbial Forensics: Human Identification
Biomed Sci Letters 2018;24:292-304
Published online December 31, 2018;
© 2018 The Korean Society For Biomedical Laboratory Sciences.

Yong-Bin Eom†,*

Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Chungnam 31538, Korea
Correspondence to: *Professor.
Yong-Bin Eom. Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Medical Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, 22 Soonchunhyang-ro, Shinchang-myeon, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do 31538, Korea.
Tel: +82-41-530-3039, Fax: +82-41-530-3085, e-mail:
Received October 13, 2018; Revised December 11, 2018; Accepted December 12, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Microbes is becoming increasingly forensic possibility as a consequence of advances in massive parallel sequencing (MPS) and bioinformatics. Human DNA typing is the best identifier, but it is not always possible to extract a full DNA profile namely its degradation and low copy number, and it may have limitations for identical twins. To overcome these unsatisfactory limitations, forensic potential for bacteria found in evidence could be used to differentiate individuals. Prokaryotic cells have a cell wall that better protects the bacterial nucleoid compared to the cell membrane of eukaryotic cells. Humans have an extremely diverse microbiome that may prove useful in determining human identity and may even be possible to link the microbes to the person responsible for them. Microbial composition within the human microbiome varies across individuals. Therefore, MPS of human microbiome could be used to identify biological samples from the different individuals, specifically for twins and other cases where standard DNA typing doses not provide satisfactory results due to degradation of human DNA. Microbial forensics is a new discipline combining forensic science and microbiology, which can not to replace current STR analysis methods used for human identification but to be complementary. Among the fields of microbial forensics, this paper will briefly describe information on the current status of microbiome research such as metagenomic code, salivary microbiome, pubic hair microbiome, microbes as indicators of body fluids, soils microbes as forensic indicator, and review microbial forensics as the feasibility of microbiome-based human identification.
Keywords : Human identification, Massive parallel sequencing, Microbes, Microbial forensics, Microbiome