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The Importance of Distinguishing Menstrual and Peripheral Blood in Forensic Casework

A Case Report

Tozzo, Pamela, MD, PhD; Nespeca, Patrizia, MSc; Spigarolo, Gloria, MSc; Caenazzo, Luciana, PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 4 - p 337–340
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000414
Case Reports

This report presents a case of an 18-year-old woman found unconscious by police officers outside a club suspected to be victim of a sexual assault. She was not able to give information about the dynamics of the assault, since she was under the effect of a high amount of alcohol. She affirmed to be virgin.

The forensic genetic analyses were performed on vaginal and rectal swabs as well as bloody-like traces present on the slip. DNA and RNA analysis were performed using a multiplex for 15 autosomal short tandem repeat markers and of 19 primers specific for different tissues, respectively.

No male DNA was identified on vaginal and rectal swabs and on blood spots on the underwear. Blood, vaginal, and skin markers were scored observed in the samples obtained from slip traces and vaginal swab.

The forensic genetic analysis supports the proposition that the victim had a sexual intercourse, in the absence of male biological material, in a case where the victim, altered by high blood alcohol levels, was unable to provide information.

From the Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Manuscript received February 1, 2018; accepted May 5, 2018.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Pamela Tozzo, MD, PhD, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, Via Falloppio 50, 35121 Padova, Italy. E-mail:

© 2018 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.