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On the relevance of cocaine detection in a fingerprint

Jang, Min, Costa, Catia, Bunch, J., Gibson, B., Ismail, M., Palitsin, Vladimir, Webb, Rebecca, Hudson, M. and Bailey, M.J. (2020) On the relevance of cocaine detection in a fingerprint Scientific Reports, 10, 1974.

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Abstract

The finding that drugs and metabolites can be detected from fingerprints is of potential relevance to forensic science and as well as toxicology and clinical testing. However, discriminating between dermal contact and ingestion of drugs has never been verified experimentally. The inability to interpret the result of finding a drug or metabolite in a fingerprint has prevented widespread adoption of fingerprints in drug testing and limits the probative value of detecting drugs in fingermarks. A commonly held belief is that the detection of metabolites of drugs of abuse in fingerprints can be used to confirm a drug has been ingested. However, we show here that cocaine and its primary metabolite, benzoylecgonine, can be detected in fingerprints of non-drug users after contact with cocaine. Additionally, cocaine was found to persist above environmental levels for up to 48 hours after contact. Therefore the detection of cocaine and benzoylecgonine (BZE) in fingermarks can be forensically significant, but do not demonstrate that a person has ingested the substance. In contrast, the data here shows that a drug test from a fingerprint (where hands can be washed prior to donating a sample) CAN distinguish between contact and ingestion of cocaine. If hands were washed prior to giving a fingerprint, BZE was detected only after the administration of cocaine. Therefore BZE can be used to distinguish cocaine contact from cocaine ingestion, provided donors wash their hands prior to sampling. A test based on the detection of BZE in at least one of two donated fingerprint samples has accuracy 95%, sensitivity 90% and specificity of 100% (n = 86).

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Jang, Minm.jang@surrey.ac.uk
Costa, Catiac.d.costa@surrey.ac.uk
Bunch, J.
Gibson, B.
Ismail, M.mahado.ismail@surrey.ac.uk
Palitsin, VladimirV.Palitsin@surrey.ac.uk
Webb, Rebeccabecca.webb@surrey.ac.uk
Hudson, M.
Bailey, M.J.M.Bailey@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 6 February 2020
Funders : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
DOI : 10.1038/s41598-020-58856-0
OA Location : https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-58856-0#article-info
Grant Title : Strategic Equipment Grant
Copyright Disclaimer : Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Bioanalytical chemistry; Mass spectrometry; Medical and clinical diagnostics
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 13 Feb 2020 09:36
Last Modified : 29 May 2020 13:06
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853733

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