Sources Of Human

Recent advances in technology have provided means to identify individual hosts from analyses of hematophagous arthropod blood meals. Using polymerase chain reaction and amplified fragment length polymorphism DNA characterization procedures, two human DNA genetic markers, D1S80 and HUMT01, have been typed from human DNA material derived from excreta from the human crab louse, Pthirus pubis, fed on human volunteers. Although these results are preliminary, they demonstrate the potential for this technology to provide individual characterizations for cases of rape or homicide in which hematophagous arthropods are encountered by investigators at the scene. More recently, human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been isolated, amplified, and sequenced from crab lice fed on human volunteers. This study demonstrates the potential for mtDNA analyses to characterize individual hosts even from desiccated and frozen arthropod blood meals, and it is yet another example of the stability of mtDNA.

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