The use of host factors in microbial forensics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Advances have been made in the forensic analysis of microbes and toxins. An underdeveloped and underutilized area in microbial forensics is how the host interacts with microorganisms in a way that provides unique signatures for forensic use. For forensic purposes, an immediate goal is to distinguish a potential victim and innocent person from a perpetrator, and to distinguish between a naturally acquired or intentional infection. Principal methods that are sufficiently developed are characterization of the humoral immune response to microbial antigens including vaccine-induced immunity and detection of antibiotics that may be present in a possible perpetrator. This chapter presents central elements of the host response in a simplified fashion and describes a representative example, which, in the appropriate context, has a high potential of providing evidence that may aid an investigation to distinguish a perpetrator from a victim. This chapter also presents information about the immune system so that the interested reader can have a fuller understanding of the immune response in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrobial Forensics
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128153796
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


  • Assays
  • Forensics
  • Immune response
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Microbial forensics
  • Microbiology
  • Vaccines


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