An important aspect of forensic sciences and casework is to determine the time since death, accurately. By examining changes in the bacterial communities of the mouth that occur after death can accurately determine the time since death, reveals a new research.
Three donated individuals (one male and two females) were studied, and oral swab samples were taken daily throughout the different stages of decomposition.
‘The time since death can be accurately determined with oral bacteria.’
The three cadavers showed similar overall successional changes in bacterial taxa as the bodies decomposed.
"Microorganisms coexist with us during life, playing an important role in both health and disease. Upon death and as the decomposition process advances, bacterial communities change according to the newly set environmental conditions," said Dr. Joe Adserias-Garriga, lead author of the Molecular Oral Microbiology study.
"Our aim is to use those changes in the oral microbiome to estimate time since death."