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The evaluation of semenogelin proteins I and II in semen and other body fluids of males and females for forensic detection

Wing, Kimberley Ellen (2021) The evaluation of semenogelin proteins I and II in semen and other body fluids of males and females for forensic detection. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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In sexual assault cases, the microscopic detection of spermatozoa is widely accepted as confirmation of ejaculation, however the absence of sperm cells does not mean absence of seminal fluid. If sperm cells cannot be identified, proteins such as semenogelin (Sg) can be used. Semenogelin has two subtypes (Sg I and Sg II) and can be found in seminal fluid at high concentrations. For this study two immunological tests for semenogelin detection, RSID-Semen and ELISAs, were compared. The purpose was to determine whether semenogelin levels differ within males and between males, if semenogelin can be detected in other body fluids, including in females and to compare RSID-Semen and ELISA results to see if there are any discrepancies. Semen, vaginal, both male and female saliva, urine and blood samples were used. All samples were tested using RSID-Semen, a current forensic detection method and two ELISA kits (SEMG1 and SEMG2). RSID-Semen kits had the highest specificity, with only semen giving positive results. SEMG1 had the highest sensitivity and was positive for both semen and male urine. SEMG2 had lowest specificity, with positive results for most blood and saliva samples and 2 vaginal samples. Semenogelin concentrations in semen were similar within individuals, but significant differences were observed between donors. Concentrations found in body fluids were significantly lower compared to semen. When compared to ELISA methods, RSID-Semen is the preferred method for detecting semen samples for sexual assault cases where high specificity and fast results are essential. The high sensitivity of SEMG1 could be useful for very dilute semen samples that may not be detectable on RSID-Semen.

Keywords: Forensic serology; Sexual assault; Semen detection; Seminal fluid; Semenogelin; Immunological assays

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Supervisor(s): Tobe, Shane, Maker, Garth and Fuller, K.
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