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Development of a Proteomic Assay for Menstrual Blood, Vaginal Fluid and Species Identification

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2016
95 pages
Since there are currently no routine assays available for the identification of menstrual blood and vaginal fluid, this report presents the findings and methodology of a project whose overarching goal was to use the power of mass spectrometry (MS) to achieve an accurate and sensitive identification and evaluation of menstrual blood and vaginal fluid candidate markers.
The criteria for the markers were that they be specific to, or highly enriched in, each body fluid so there is no overlap with markers from body fluids of other mucous membranes. It was also required that multiple markers be identified, so as to ensure that no other body fluid or mixture of body fluids could give the same results. In addition, menstrual blood markers were required to be present in all women regardless of age, ethnicity, use of hormonal contraceptives, and presence in each day of a woman's menstrual period. Further, vagina fluid markers were required to be present in all women regardless of age, ethnicity, and use of hormonal contraceptives. The discovery of menstrual blood and vaginal fluid protein markers in just over 300 samples from 50 women demonstrated their reliability in accurately identifying these body fluids, and an additional goal was achieved in showing the ability of MS to identify species; however, additional basic and applied research should be done to take these discoveries from the research lab to routine forensic laboratory testing. Additional samples should be evaluated to confirm these data. Also, mixtures of body fluids should be examined to determine the limits of detection in mixed samples. 33 figures, 22 tables, 100 references, and a listing of publications and presentations of research findings

Date Published: December 1, 2016