Article: article from journal or magazin.
Cerebrospinal fluid PCR analysis and biochemistry in bodies with severe decomposition.
Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
The aim of this study was to assess whether Neisseria meningitidis, Listeria monocytogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae can be identified using the polymerase chain reaction technique in the cerebrospinal fluid of severely decomposed bodies with known, noninfectious causes of death or whether postmortem changes can lead to false positive results and thus erroneous diagnostic information. Biochemical investigations, postmortem bacteriology and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis in cerebrospinal fluid were performed in a series of medico-legal autopsies that included noninfectious causes of death with decomposition, bacterial meningitis without decomposition, bacterial meningitis with decomposition, low respiratory tract infections with decomposition and abdominal infections with decomposition. In noninfectious causes of death with decomposition, postmortem investigations failed to reveal results consistent with generalized inflammation or bacterial infections at the time of death. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis in cerebrospinal fluid did not identify the studied bacteria in any of these cases. The results of this study highlight the usefulness of molecular approaches in bacteriology as well as the use of alternative biological samples in postmortem biochemistry in order to obtain suitable information even in corpses with severe decompositional changes.
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