Optimising the sampling procedure for forensic investigation of bruises on pigs

Kristiane Barington*, Kerstin Skovgaard, Nicole Lind Henriksen, Henrik Elvang Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Human-inflicted bruises on pigs are a violation of the law and affected tissue is regularly sent for forensic investigation. The authors aimed to evaluate the variation in inflammation within and between human-inflicted porcine bruises in order to determine the optimal sampling procedure. Skin and muscle tissues from the centre and ends of 21 bruises were evaluated histologically. Moreover, RNA was extracted from the subcutaneous fat tissue. The bruises were detected during meat inspection at the slaughter line, and all carcases were kept at 5°C for 12-24 hours before sampling. The sampling site with the most infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages differed between bruises inflicted on the same pig and between bruises inflicted on more pigs within the same delivery. The extracted RNA had RIN (RNA integrity number) values from 3 to 6.5. Tissue samples should always be taken from both skin and underlying muscle tissue. Samples should be collected from several sites along each bruise, and all bruises should be sampled in order to include the site of maximum tissue damage and inflammation. Moreover, RNA of sufficient quality for quantitative PCR and subsequent age estimation cannot be obtained from carcases kept for 12-24 hours at 5°C.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalVeterinary Record
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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