ESCMID Study Group for Forensic and Postmortem Microbiology – ESGFOR


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News & Activities

Joint Webinar ESGFOR-SEPAF 2022: Postmortem casuistic during pandemic times

The ESCMID Study Group of Forensic and Postmortem Microbiology in collaboration with the SEPAF (Sociedad Española de Patología Forense) have organized a two-part webinar course for “Postmortem casuistic during pandemic times”. Part one will take place 8 June 2022 at 17:00-18:30 CEST. Registration is free and now open! Please see the registration link and programme below.


Register for free here:


How to interpret a skin lesion positive for HHV-7 and VZV?

Dr. Prof. Veroniek Saegeman. Microbiology Department. Sint Niklaas Hospital. Sint Niklaas, Belgium


Typing of SARS-CoV-2 among fatal cases

Ph. Dr. Prof. Fernando González-Candelas. Joint Research Unit Infection and Public Health FISABIO-University of Valencia, Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio) and CIBER in Epidemiology and Public Health. Valencia, Spain


Forensic microbiology: a multidisciplinary approach in viral myocarditis

Dr. Prof. Juan Pedro Hernández del Rincón. Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Murcia. Murcia, Spain


SARS-Co-V2 associated myocarditis: Postmortem approach of 2 cases

Dr. Prof. Nihan Ziyade. Postmortem Microbiology Laboratory. Adli Tip Kurumu. Istanbul. Turkey.



Ph. Dr. Prof. Amparo Fernández-Rodríguez. Microbiology Laboratory. Instituto Nacional de Toxicología y Ciencias Forenses, Las Rozas de Madrid. Madrid, Spain


Dr. Prof. Joaquín Lucena. Pathology Service. Institute of Legal Medicine. Sevilla, Spain

2021 Annual Report Published

The Annual Report showcasing the achievements of the previous year is now available to view. Be sure to check out the report to see what the Study Group was able to accomplish in 2021 as well as what they plan for the future.

Joint Webinar ESGFOR-SEPAF / Seminario integrado ESGFOR-SEPAF

Tuesday 14 December 2021 16:00-18:00 CET

Integrated diagnosis in deaths due to COVID-19: microbiology and forensic pathology / Diagnóstico integrado en muertes por COVID-19: microbiología y patología Forense

Register at the following link:

The language of the activity will be Spanish. The activity will be free. Due to limitation of the platform, the number of attendees will be restricted. Please, book your place as soon as possible.

After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with information to join the webinar.


COVID-19 placental infection / Infección placentaria por COVID-19.
Prof. Marta C. Cohen. Histopathology Department. Children Hospital. Sheffield. United Kingdom.

The minimally invasive autopsy in COVID-19 / La autopsia mínimamente invasiva en COVID-19.
Prof. Miguel J. Martínez Yoldi. Department of Microbiology. ISGlobal, Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB). Barcelona. Spain.


Prof. Amparo Fernández-Rodríguez. Microbiology Laboratory. Biology Department, Instituto Nacional de Toxicología y Ciencias Forenses, Las Rozas de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Prof. Juan Pedro Hernández del Rincón. Instituto de Medicina Legal y Ciencias Forenses de Murcia. Spain.


The post-mortem diagnosis of COVID-19 requires of the joint collaboration of both microbiologists and pathologists, both in the clinical and forensic settings. Post-mortem microbiology is crucial in cases of undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, pathology provides a deeper understanding of the disease.

In this activity, the ESGFOR (ESCMID Study Group of Forensic and Post-mortem Microbiology) and the SEPAF (Spanish Society of Forensic Pathology) have invited specialists of both disciplines to provide and approach to the post-mortem investigation in COVID-19   from a dual perspective:  the maternal infection and pathology of stillbirths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and the benefits of performing minimally invasive autopsy in suspected cases of COVID-19.

2020 Annual Report Published

The Annual Report showcasing the achievements of the previous year is now available to view. 2020 was a challenging year due to COVID-19, but check out the report to see what the Study Group was able to accomplish or plan for the future.

New ESGFOR Executive Committee elected

A new ESGFOR Executive Committee has been elected and will now be:

  • Chairperson: Veroniek Saegeman, Belgium
  • Secretary: Amparo Fernández-Rodríguez, Spain
  • Treasurer: Marta Cohen, United Kingdom

We thank all previous Executive Committee for their excellent work over the last years. We are looking forward to continuing this work.

You can find the full election report here


The audience at the AMCLI-ESGFOR session about forensic microbiology.

On November 13th 2018, a joint session of AMCLI (Italian Association of Clinical Microbiologists) and ESGFOR-ESCMID was held in Rimini, Italy. ESGFOR Chairperson Amparo Fernandez-Rodriguez introduced the forensic microbiology session explaining the focus of the working group.

Particularities of forensic microbiology were discussed: collection of biological samples from deceased persons; data analysis/interpretation and its use in identifying a pathogen in case of unknown cause of death or estimate an antibiotic treatment’s effectiveness given before a patient’s death.

The microbiology of gender-based violence, affecting 35% of women worldwide and cases of endo-uterine infections as well as prematurity and infections linked to long stays in Neonatal Intensive Care Therapy was discussed.


In the words of Prof. Claudio Farina and Prof. Giuseppe Miragliotta, moderators of the session: the transversality of forensic microbiology and its growing interest in Italy were highlighted by the different speakers: Elvira Ventura Spagnolo (Forensic Medicine Department, University of Palermo, Italy), Roberta Creti (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy),  Francesco D’Aleo (Grande Ospedale Metropolitano, Reggio Calabria, Italy) and Claudio Bandi (coordinator of the Genomic Epidemiology Platform at the Milan University).

ESGFOR-supported course on The Plague

From left to right: Prof . Dr. Javier Garaizar (UPV/EHU) organiser of the course, Dr. Amparo Fernandez-Rodriguez (ESGFOR-ESCMID), Dr. Anne Stone (ASU), and Dr. Alexander Herbig (Max Planck-Jena) at the plague exhibition, which was held at the Vitoria-Gasteiz university library along the course.


Few infections had as much importance as The Plague. The interest in this disease has been growing among specialists in history of medicine, infectious diseases, molecular microbiologists, geneticists and forensic scientists, who are now able to analyze the genome of extinct strains involved in ancient pandemics and to compare them with current strains.

On October 10th and 11th 2018, an international course about The Plague was held in the University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, with the collaboration of ESGFOR. In interactive sessions specialists discussed about the historical context, results from analysis of ancient DNA from human bone remains and the high performance sequencing of complete genomes.


Coming Soon

Ongoing research: ESGFOR collaborative project (2018-2020)

Targeted 16S-23S rDNA Next Generation Sequencing: is it a complementary technique in identifying an infectious cause of death?