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The effect of infertile semen on the mRNA-based body fluid identification
Electrophoresis  (IF3.535),  Pub Date : 2021-07-07, DOI: 10.1002/elps.202000238
Huan Tian, Sicheng Huang, Peng Bai, Xiao Xiao, Duo Peng, Huan Zhao, Yuqing Liu, Qian Feng, Miao Liao, Fuping Li, Weibo Liang

In the past decade, mRNA markers have been well demonstrated as promising molecular markers in forensic body fluid identification (BFI), and successfully used in wide applications. Several studies have assessed the performance of semen-specific mRNA markers in distinguishing semen from other common body fluids at the crime scene. Infertility has been reported as a global health problem that is affecting approximately 15% of couples worldwide. Therefore, it is important for forensic researchers to consider the impact of infertility on semen identification. This study aimed to explore the effect of semen from infertile men (hereinafter “infertile semen”) on BFI and to identify semen-specific mRNAs that can efficiently and accurately distinguish normal and infertile semen samples from other body fluids. Results showed that the selected five mRNAs (KLK3, TGM4, SEMG1, PRM1, and PRM2) performed a significantly high semen specificity in normal semen. Moreover, KLK3 was slightly influenced by infertile semen samples with over 98% positive results in all semen samples. The accuracy to predict normal semen reached up to 96.6% using the discrimination function Y1 with KLK3 and PRM1. However, when the infertile semen samples were included in discrimination function (function Y2 with KLK3), the accuracy rate of semen identification (including the normal and infertile semen) was down to 89.5%. Besides, the sensitivity of multiplex assay could reach down to 50pg. Our results suggest that it is important to consider the presence of infertile semen when using mRNAs to identify semen samples, which would have a far-reaching impact in forensic identification.