Forensic Serology

Identification Using Blood Groups
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Forensic Serology Serology – term used to describe a broad range of laboratory tests using reactions of blood serum and body fluid The serology section of a forensic laboratory may deal with any or all of the following: • blood typing • characterization of unknown blood • stain patterns for crime reconstruction • paternity testing • semen identification in rape cases • DNA techniques used for identification .

The Composition of Blood Blood is a mixture of many components: cells inorganic substances (salts) enzymes water proteins 55 % of blood content is plasma – mostly water and substances dissolved in it Most of the solid materials (by weight) are cells red blood cells. RBCs (erythrocytes) white blood cells (leukocytes) .

TMB) Luminol Test 2) Is it human blood? Precipitin Test 3) Can it be associated with an individual? .Forensic Characterization of Bloodstains Three questions that must be answered by the forensic investigator: 1) Is it blood? Benzidine Test Kastle-Meyer Test Hemastix (o-tolidine.

Luminol • Red blood cells contain hemoglobin (Hb) – the protein responsible for transporting oxygen • Each Hb contains four iron (Fe) containing hemes Heme structure .

Luminol • Red blood cells contain hemoglobin (Hb) – the protein responsible for transporting oxygen • Each Hb contains four iron (Fe) containing hemes Heme structure .

TMB) Luminol Test Enzymatic Tests 2) Is it human blood? Precipitin Test 3) Can it be associated with an individual? .Forensic Characterization of Bloodstains Three questions that must be answers by forensic investigator: 1) Is it blood? Benzidine Test Kastle-Meyer Test Hemastix (o-tolidine.

Precipitin Test .

Blood Antigens On the surface of red blood cells are chemical structures (proteins) called antigens The presence of antigens allow a living system to recognize foreign biological substances Antigens also impart specific characteristics to the red blood cells. These characteristics can be partly used to identify individuals Human red blood cells have more than 15 different antigen types that have been discovered .

Blood Typing Blood typing involves determination of the antigens present on an individual’s RBCs The two most common blood typing systems used are the A-B-O method and the Rh method type A blood – contain “A” antigen on RBCs type B blood – contain “B” antigen on RBCs type AB blood – contains both A and B antigens type O blood – contain no A or B antigens Rh+ blood – contain Rh antigen Rh.blood – no Rh antigen .

Blood Typing Blood also contains antibodies – proteins that recognize and bind to certain. specific antigens Blood Type Antigens on RBC Antibodies A A anti-B B B anti-A AB AB none none both A & B O .

the blood clots The clots can then be removed by the host system .Blood Typing When blood containing a specific antigen is mixed with blood containing the corresponding antibodies.

Blood Typing Human serum containing specific antibodies can be purchased Separately mix a drop of unknown blood sample with drop of each anti-serum Reaction between blood and anti-serum No reaction between blood and anti-serum .

80% of Americans are secretors. found on other cells .Blood Typing Example A sample of unknown blood is mixed with three antisera samples: Tube 1 (Anti-A): No reaction Tube 2 (Anti B): No reaction Tube 3 (Anti Rh): Cloudy reaction In terms of the A-B-O and Rh systems. what type blood is the sample? The ABO antigens are not confined to RBC.

what type blood is the sample? O positive The ABO antigens are not confined to RBC.Blood Typing Example A sample of unknown blood is mixed with three antisera samples: Tube 1 (Anti-A): No reaction Tube 2 (Anti B): No reaction Tube 3 (Anti Rh): Cloudy reaction In terms of the A-B-O and Rh systems. 80% of Americans are secretors. same antigens found on other cells .

hacking. . trauma from blunt weapons.Blood Splatter Analysis Categories of Bloodstains: Passive (dripping) Transfer (smearing) Projected Projected Bloodstains occur in shootings. or slashing attacks.

Projected Bloodstain Analysis Two Important Determinations: a. direction of splatter b. angle of impact with surface sin  = (width drop / length drop) .

This fluid is a mixture of components: • water • spermatozoa • enzymes • inorganic salts Semen at a crime scene (clothing. upon ejaculation. bed sheets.Forensic Characterization of Semen Many crimes involve sexual misconduct Normal males. carpet. release seminal fluid. cushions) can be located and identified by three common methods: • microscope examination to find sperm • acid phosphatase test • p30 (also called prostrate specific antigen) immunoassay test .

however.5 liters of saliva/day and it is not uncommon at crime scenes (especially involving bite marks). Starch and iodine are a deep blue color when mixed together. and a sample of the presumed saliva together.0-1. and the color fades (takes about 15 mins @ 37 oC).Forensic Characterization of Saliva Saliva is a mixture of many components: 99% water Mucin (protein helps in swallowing) Amylase (enzyme to help digest carbohydrates) Cheek cells (good for DNA) Adults produce 1. The amylase breaks down starch. A simple test for saliva involves mixing starch. . iodine.