Volume 33, Issue 5 (September 1988)
The Examination of Vaginally Inserted Plastic Tampon Applicators for Genetic Markers and Evidence of Prior Sexual Intercourse
Vaginally inserted plastic tampon applicators were obtained from 42 female volunteers. The applicators were examined for the presence of ABH blood group substances, phosphoglucomutase (PGM), amylase, acid phosphatase, P30, and intact spermatozoa. Each applicator was accompanied by a control blood sample, a saliva specimen, a brief sexual and menstrual history, and method of birth control of the donor. Eight of the male sexual partners of the donors submitted blood and saliva samples. One male sexual partner submitted only a saliva sample.
ABH blood group substances corresponding to the donor were recovered from 36 of the 42 applicators. The remaining 6 applicators revealed a combination of the donor's and sexual partner's ABH substances. The female's PGM type was recovered from 34 of the applicators. The remaining 8 applicators failed to show PGM activity. Of the applicators, 15 indicated evidence of prior sexual intercourse by the detection of ABH substances not consistent with the applicator donor (6 samples), high levels of acid phosphatase (11 samples), or recovery of spermatozoa (8 samples) or some combination of these. All applicator samples failed to show the presence of either P30 activity or PGM factors foreign to the female.