Trace samples of human blood in mosquitoes as a forensic investigation tool

K. C N Rabêlo, C. M R Albuquerque, V. B. Tavares, S. M. Santos, C. A. Souza, T. C. Oliveira, N. C L Oliveira, S. Crovella1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigations of any type of crime invariably starts at the crime scene by collecting evidence. Thus, the purpose of this research was to collect and analyze an entomological trace from an environment that is similar to those of indoor crime scenes. Hematophagous mosquitoes were collected from two residential units; saliva of volunteers that were residents in the units was also collected for genetic analysis as reference samples. We examined the allele frequencies of 15 short tandem repeat loci (D8S1179, D21S11, D7S820, CSF1PO, D3S1358, TH01, D13S317, D16S539, D2S1338, D19S433, vWA, TPOX, D18S51, D5S818, and FGA) and amelogenin. A total of 26 female hematophagous mosquitoes were identified as Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus; we were able to obtain 11 forensically valid genetic profiles, with a minimum of 0.028203 ng/μL of human DNA. Thus, the results of this study showed that it was possible to correlate human genetic information from mosquitoes with the volunteer reference samples, which validates the use of this information as forensic evidence. Furthermore, we observed mixed genetic profiles from one mosquito. Therefore, it is clearly important to collect these insects indoors where crimes were committed, because it may be possible to find intact genetic profiles of suspects in the blood found in the digestive tract of hematophagous mosquitoes for later comparison to identify an offender and/or exclude suspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14847-14856
Number of pages10
JournalGenetics and Molecular Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 18 2015


  • Forensic DNA
  • Forensic entomology
  • Mosquitoes blood meal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Trace samples of human blood in mosquitoes as a forensic investigation tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this