Antibody profiling – the next DNA
AbP•ID® is a technology which analyses Individual Specific Autoantibodies (ISAs) to uniquely identify humans. AbP•ID® is the only antibody profiling technology available using ISAs found in human blood for forensic identification.
The primary purpose and function of antibodies is to protect the body against infection and disease. However, a subset of antibodies known as autoantibodies (ISAs), are thought to perform other functions in the body such as housekeeping tasks, including the elimination of cell debris. Aperson’s autoantibody profile can be found in all body fluids, but most readily in human blood. The ISAs are a component of every individual’s immune system. After the age of two, this profile remains the same throughout a person’s life.
The use of antibody profiling can differentiate between identical twins, a capability not shared with DNA. Individuals are identified when these autoantibodies are put through proprietary testing processes and provide a distinct “profile” for every individual tested.
AbP•ID® is the only antibody profiling test available for use in forensic casework to identify humans. It utilizes new technology applied to science that is over twenty years old. The AbP•ID® test provides the forensic community with an alternative or supplementary technology to obtain individual identification results similar to DNA and fingerprints. The AbP•ID® system comprises specialised microarrays and fluids to develop the individual’s profile, and AbP•IMAGE® analysis software.
Uses and Benefits of AbP•ID®:
AbP•ID® tests provide reliable ID test results in under 2 hours, much faster than DNA profiling
Tests can be conducted at the local level and do not need to be conducted in a specialised laboratory – can be deployed at a crime scene
- Quick presumptive / intelligence test can be carried out locally, saving time for investigators and giving them the “control”
- Only a very small amount of blood evidence is required
- AbP•ID® training takes less than 5 days
Expensive forensic DNA laboratories and equipment are not required
Skill levels required are generally lower than for a DNA laboratory
AbP•ID® reveals a person’s antibody fingerprint through a combination of microarray technology and statistical analysis via the
accompanying software AbP·Image®. Each AbP•ID® test is a microarray slide with three identical sub-arrays of human-origin proteins printed onto a nitrocellulose membrane.
AbP•Image® software provides a database which could be used to screen multiple suspects. In addition, it can be an alternative to
DNA-based identification methods where DNA data storage does not exist or for scenes such as Disaster Victim Identification, where there may be many unidentifiable casualties. Antibody profiling could be also an alternative to DNA analysis techniques in situations where DNA contamination could not be avoided.