Identification of oral bacteria as a new forensic tool for saliva detection

Gili Betser-Cohen, Lina Mayuoni-Kirsehenbaum, Khaled Zubeidat, Yael Horev, Luba Eli Berchoer, Adiel Cohen, Doron Aframian, Merav Amiel, Avi Hai Hovav*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Body fluid detection is an important component in the toolbox of forensic scientists, with saliva playing a particularly critical role in forensic evidence. Given that each body fluid possesses a distinct microbiome, the identification of body fluid based on specific representatives of the microbiota presents an appealing approach for forensic applications. In this study, we have developed a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based method for the precise identification of saliva, focusing on three bacteria highly associated with saliva but not with other tested body fluids -Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Streptococcus salivarius. The inclusion of these three bacterial species enhances the accuracy of detection and reinforces validation. Notably, specific identification of saliva was achievable even at low concentrations where Phadebas, a commonly used method for saliva detection, proved ineffective. Importantly, bacteria-based saliva detection utilizes DNA generated for small tandem repeats (STR) profiling, facilitating seamless integration into forensic laboratories and optimizing DNA sample utilization. This study collectively proposes an effective bacterial DNA-based approach for saliva identification, demonstrating promising potential for forensic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112112
JournalForensic Science International
StatePublished - Aug 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Fusobacterium nucleatum
  • Phadebas
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Saliva
  • Streptococcus salivarius


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