Current Microbiology

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 207–211 | Cite as

Amplification of Oral Streptococcal DNA from Human Incisors and Bite Marks

  • Lillian Hsu
  • Daniel Power
  • Jenine Upritchard
  • Jeremy Burton
  • Rebekah Friedlander
  • Jacqui Horswell
  • Catriona MacDonald
  • Jules Kieser
  • Geoffrey TompkinsEmail author


Challenges to the evidentiary value of morphometric determinations have led to a requirement for scientifically substantiated approaches to the forensic analysis of bite marks. Human teeth support genotypically distinctive populations of bacteria that could be exploited for forensic purposes. This study explored the feasibility of directly amplifying bacterial DNA from bite marks for comparison with that from teeth. Samples from self-inflicted experimental bite marks (n = 24) and human incisors were amplified by PCR using primers specific for streptococcal 16S ribosomal DNA. Amplicon profiles (resolved by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) from bite mark samples aligned significantly more closely with profiles generated from the teeth responsible than with those from other teeth. Streptococcal amplicons were generated from dental samples applied to excised porcine skin for up to 48 h. These findings indicate that streptococcal DNA can be amplified directly from bite marks, and have potential application in bite mark analysis.


Porcine Skin Bite Mark Oral Streptococcus Incisor Sample Skin Segment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by the New Zealand Dental Research Foundation; the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust; and the New Zealand Police Capability Development Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lillian Hsu
    • 1
  • Daniel Power
    • 2
  • Jenine Upritchard
    • 1
  • Jeremy Burton
    • 3
  • Rebekah Friedlander
    • 1
  • Jacqui Horswell
    • 4
  • Catriona MacDonald
    • 4
  • Jules Kieser
    • 1
  • Geoffrey Tompkins
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of Otago, Sir John Walsh Research InstituteDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Lawson Health Research Institute, Canadian Research and Development Centre for ProbioticsLondonCanada
  4. 4.Environmental and Scientific Research IncPoriruaNew Zealand

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