Forensic entomotoxicology is the use of insects as evidence of whether a toxicant is present in an environment such as a corpse, river or landscape. The earliest overtly forensic study was published in 1977, and since then, at least 63 papers have been published, most of them focused on the detection of toxicants in insects or on effects of toxicants on diverse insect indicator taxa. A comprehensive review of the published literature revealed various inconsistencies between studies that could be addressed by introducing standard protocols for such studies. These protocols could include selecting widespread and common model organisms (such as Lucilia sericata, Calliphora vicina, Chrysomya megacephala and Dermestes maculatus) and model toxicants (e.g. morphine and amitriptyline) to build up comparative databases; developing a standard matrix for use as a feeding substrate; setting guidelines for statistically adequate sample sizes; and deploying more sophisticated analytical methods from the general field of toxicology. Future studies should then be aimed at refining standardised protocols to improve experimental results, and make these results more comparable between studies.
International Journal of Legal Medicine – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2017
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