Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.22, 9497-9512, 2020
Thanatomicrobiome and epinecrotic community signatures for estimation of post-mortem time interval in human cadaver
Estimation of post-mortem time interval (PMI) is a key parameter in the forensic investigation which poses a huge challenge to the medico-legal experts. The succession of microbes within different parts of the human body after death has shown huge potential in the determination of PMI. Human body harbors trillions of microorganisms as commensals. With the death of an individual when biological functions are stopped, these microorganisms behave contrarily along with the invasion of degrading microbes from the environment. Human cadaver becomes a rich source of nutrients due to autolysis of cells, which attracts various invading microorganisms as well as macroorganisms. At different stages of degradation, the succession of microorganisms differs significantly which can be explored for accurate PMI estimation. With the advent of microbial genomics technique and reduction in the cost of DNA sequencing, thanatomicrobiome and epinecrotic community analysis have gained huge attention in PMI estimation. The article summarizes different sources of microorganisms in a human cadaver, their succession pattern, and analytical techniques for application in the field of microbial forensics.