Bites inevitably transmit bacteria from assailant to victim. In 2010, Dr Paul Spradbery demonstrated that some bacterial genes exhibit polymorphism between hosts and could, therefore, be useful in determining which individual has (and which has not) caused a traumatic wound.
While having insufficient discriminatory power to identify an assailant, this clever forensic technique has proven capability to exonerate defendants that might otherwise be wrongfully convicted.
It is pleasing that, since establishing proof of principle, the technique has been validated and used in criminal courts of law. Further application is possible by identifying and utilizing other - perhaps more efficient - genetic markers from the same bacterial species.Dr Paul S Spradbery, BSc (Hons), BDS
Bioscience Horizons (Oxford University Press)
Bioscience Horizons, 3(2), 166-178