Mites as High Resolution Markers

We hope that this gross sketch of the high diversity of mite species in indoor environments might inspire forensic investigators to have a second look at dust and especially at mites associated with cloth and home furniture. Fibres of any kind have gained great importance as trace evidence, however, they lack DNA. As living organisms, the mites living upon our clothes and our clothed furniture can be molecularly characterized. We would like to propose that mites might add a useful contribution to forensic evidence, where fibres are not available or are not sufficient to link a suspect with a crime scene or a victim. In the domestic environment dust mites are ubiquitous; more importantly, their populations vary in composition. This diversity is in direct relation with human living habits and housing characteristics. The development of mite molecular markers able to differentiate between two human mite populations will particularly contribute to forensic investigations with data of high resolution.

Acknowledgement MAP and HRB wish to thank the Leverhulme Trust for support of this work.

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