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Detection of marine and freshwater bacterioplankton in immersed victims: Post-mortem bacterial invasion does not readily occur.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21543169     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
We previously applied our method of detecting marine or freshwater bacterioplankton (bacteria) in the blood of immersed victims as a marker of drowning. However, we did not confirm the absence of post-mortem bacterial invasion during immersion. Here we examined the nature of bacterioplankton in blood samples from 21 immersed and 4 non-immersed cadavers. We found only freshwater bacterioplankton in the blood of two victims that were retrieved from the sea or an estuary inhabited by marine bacterioplankton even though one victim was highly putrefied. The results of diatom testing suggested that these two victims had drowned in fresh or brackish water with low salinity and then flowed out to the estuary or the sea. Two others were submerged in water, but representative bacterioplankton were undetectable in their blood although one victim was highly putrefied. Autopsy findings and the results of diatom tests did not indicate that the cause of death was drowning. As in previous studies, we identified freshwater bacterioplankton in the blood of seven other victims that had drowned in freshwater, marine bacterioplankton in the blood of four victims that had drowned in seawater and none in four victims found on land that had died by means other than drowning. Bacterioplankton in the blood of drowned victims appears to reflect the type of water aspirated and blood does not become easily contaminated with bacteria post-mortem even in decomposed bodies.
Eiji Kakizaki; Shuji Kozawa; Nahoko Imamura; Taketo Uchiyama; Sho Nishida; Masahiro Sakai; Nobuhiro Yukawa
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-5-2
Journal Detail:
Title:  Forensic science international     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-6283     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-5-5     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7902034     Medline TA:  Forensic Sci Int     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Division of Legal Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Miyazaki, 5200 Kihara, Kiyotake-cho, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.
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