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The use of bacteria for the identification of vaginal secretions

Abstract

We have used the 16S–23S rRNA intergenic spacer region for identifying vaginal specific bacteria. Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus gasseri were detected in vaginal secretions but not in semen, blood or saliva. Our data indicated that both L. crispatus and L. gasseri were detected in vaginal secretions from women with different levels of expression of hormonal genes including pregnant, pre- and post-menopausal women, and a woman who has had a hysterectomy. Therefore, we have demonstrated that these Lactobacilli are promising new markers for the forensic identification of vaginal secretions. We have incorporated the Lactobacilli markers into a mRNA multiplex system to produce an 11-plex assay that can identify circulatory blood, menstrual blood, saliva, semen (in the presence and absence of spermatozoa) and vaginal secretions.

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