Volume 44, Issue 2 (March 1999)

    Effects of Morphine in Decomposing Bodies on the Development of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

    (Received 3 March 1998; accepted 27 July 1998)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    This study concerns the effects of morphine in tissues on the rate of development of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae) using those tissues as a food source. Lucilia sericata is a species of fly commonly found on human corpses in Europe during the early stages of decomposition and thus of forensic interest. Three rabbits were administered 12.5, 25.0 and 50.0 mg/h of morphine chlorhydrate via ear perfusion over a period of 3 h. These dosages and duration of perfusion were calculated to give tissue concentrations of morphine similar to those encountered in fatal human overdoses. A fourth rabbit was used as a control. Following administration of the drug, rabbits were sacrificed and 400 eggs of Lucilia sericata, all of the same age, were placed in the eyes, nostrils and mouth of each rabbit. Developing larvae were sampled daily to determine growth rate and weight. Puparia and emerging adult flies were also sampled. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Student's T-test. Results of this study show that an underestimation of the postmortem interval of 24 h is possible if the presence of morphine in tissues is not considered. This study demonstrates again the necessity of considering the possible effects of drugs in tissues on insect growth rates when estimating the postmortem interval using entomological techniques.


    Author Information:

    Bécart, A
    Institut de Médecine Légale et de Médecine Sociale, Place Théo Varlet, Lille,

    Bourel, B

    Gosset, D
    Institut de Médecine Légale et de Médecine Sociale, Place Théo Varlet, Lille,

    Tournel, G
    Institut de Médecine Légale et de Médecine Sociale, Place Théo Varlet, Lille,

    Martin-Bouyer, L

    Deveaux, M
    Institut de Médecine Légale et de Médecine Sociale, Place Théo Varlet, Lille,

    Hédouin, V
    Institut de Médecine Légale et de Médecine Sociale, Place Théo Varlet, Lille,


    Stock #: JFS14463J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS14463J

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    Author
    Title Effects of Morphine in Decomposing Bodies on the Development of Lucilia sericata (Diptera: Calliphoridae)
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30