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DNA detection rates of host mtDNA in bloodmeals of human body lice (Pediculus humanus L., 1758)

Davey, J. S.; Casey, C. S.; Burgess, I. F.; Cable, J.


J. S. Davey

C. S. Casey

I. F. Burgess

J. Cable


Using polymerase chain reaction, we investigated the extent to which digestion affects the potential to amplify 12S mitochondrial DNA sequences from bloodmeals of individual human body lice (Pediculus humanus L.) (Phthiraptera, Pediculidae) up to 72 h after feeding on a surrogate rabbit host (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) (Lagomorpha, Leporidae). Two rabbit-specific primer pairs were developed to produce amplicons of 199 bp and 283 bp, the smaller of which was found to have a significantly slower decay rate. Median detection periods (T50) for the amplicons were 20 h and 12 h, with maximum detection periods of 24 h and 12 h, respectively, suggesting an inversely proportional linear relationship between amplicon size and digestion time. The data provide an indication of timeframes essential for the design of forensic sampling protocols and a basis for investigating the feeding frequency of human lice. © 2007 The Royal Entomological Society.


Davey, J. S., Casey, C. S., Burgess, I. F., & Cable, J. (2007). DNA detection rates of host mtDNA in bloodmeals of human body lice (Pediculus humanus L., 1758). Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 21(3), 293-296.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2007
Journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Print ISSN 0269-283X
Electronic ISSN 1365-2915
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 293-296
Keywords pediculus humanus, digestion, DNA decay rates, forensic epidemiology, haematophagous, 12S mtDNA
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