Seventy samples from 35 decomposed human remains were investigated for ABO histo-blood group phenotypes and genotypes by the absorption-elution method and PCR-RFLP, respectively. Phenotypes could be determined by the absorption-elution method in all cases except for some failures to detect A and H antigens from scalp hair. Genotyping was also usually successfully performed using nails when intact samples were available. The findings using hairs appeared to depend on the postmortem interval. In this series, an inconsistency between ABO phenotyping and genotyping was observed in two cases, suggesting postmortem antigenic alteration in hair and nail. These findings suggested the usefulness of serial examinations by phenotyping and genotyping for reliable ABO blood grouping of badly decomposed remains.
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