The forensic analysis of foodborne bacterial pathogens in the age of whole-genome sequencing
The forensic evaluation of bacterial pathogens presents new challenges to the forensic science community. This review examines bacterial pathogens as objects of forensic comparison, focusing on their nucleic acid sequences as an important aspect of the comparison process. Because of the clonal propagation of most bacterial pathogens, a phylogenetic approach to understanding the diversity and using this understanding to address common forensic questions is explored. As a general phylogenetic framework is now employed in human mitochondrial DNA analysis, we will use the relevant concepts and approaches common in this area to develop this approach further. We also address the impact of the current ease and prevalence of whole-genome DNA sequence analysis in the forensic comparison process.