Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Elife. 2013 Oct 15;2:e01104. doi: 10.7554/eLife.01104.

A microbial clock provides an accurate estimate of the postmortem interval in a mouse model system.

Author information

1
Biofrontiers Institute , University of Colorado at Boulder , Boulder , United States.

Abstract

Establishing the time since death is critical in every death investigation, yet existing techniques are susceptible to a range of errors and biases. For example, forensic entomology is widely used to assess the postmortem interval (PMI), but errors can range from days to months. Microbes may provide a novel method for estimating PMI that avoids many of these limitations. Here we show that postmortem microbial community changes are dramatic, measurable, and repeatable in a mouse model system, allowing PMI to be estimated within approximately 3 days over 48 days. Our results provide a detailed understanding of bacterial and microbial eukaryotic ecology within a decomposing corpse system and suggest that microbial community data can be developed into a forensic tool for estimating PMI. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01104.001.

KEYWORDS:

Mouse; decomposition; forensics; microbial ecology; microbial succession; postmortem interval; time since death

PMID:
24137541
PMCID:
PMC3796315
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.01104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center