Paper Authors and Title

Kamil Stepniak (Atlantic Technological University), John Keary, “Characterisation of Faecal Matter of Small Land Animals by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy”


This project focused on assessing the discriminatory properties of FITR in the identification of biological samples such as animal faeces. Faecal matter can be a source of contamination or can be present at crime scenes, a quick method of identification can help to save time in identifying different samples. Samples were obtained from 3 different hamsters, one guinea pig and one rabbit. A total of nine samples from each animal except sample HA were analysed on the FTIR. All samples shared certain characteristic peaks at around 2900cm-1, 1033cm-1 and at 1630cm-1. Correlation factors between the best spectra selected were obtained and ranged from 0.61 to 0.68 in hamsters compared to guinea pig, 0.81-0.89 in hamsters compared to rabbits, 0.89 for guinea pig compared to rabbits and 0.95-0.96 when hamsters were compared to other hamsters. The lowest correlation value for hamsters when samples were compared internally to assess the levels of variation within the same animal was 0.78. This suggests that the correlation value can be used to discriminate the hamsters from the guinea pig but not the rabbit. DCM extractions were carried out where the two peaks at around 2900cm-1 were very intense in sample RE and HA and less intense in sample GD. Those peaks corresponded to -CH stretch vibrations of fatty acid methylene residues as indicated in a study conducted by De Koninck, A.-S. et al. 2016. The correlation factors remained high within the same animal when extracted with DCM and much lower when different animals were compared.


Download and view Kamil Stepniak’s poster.