SPECTROSCOPY/EPIDEMIOLOGY: FTIR approach quickly, accurately IDs aggressive Staph bacteria

A new infrared (IR) spectroscopy technique operates without the use of complex antibodies to quickly distinguish between strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria, showing which can cause chronic infections and which cannot.

S. aureus tends to colonize the skin and upper respiratory tract in humans. A healthy immune system can fight it, but in an organism with a weakened immune system, the pathogen can spread and lead to life-threatening diseases of the lungs, heart, and other organs. S. aureus also produces toxins in foods that can cause serious food poisoning—and its effects are not confined to humans, which is why the IR technique was developed by researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Austria).

A new FTIR spectroscopy approach distinguishes aggressive strains of Staph bacteria
A new FTIR spectroscopy approach distinguishes aggressive strains of Staph bacteria. (Image courtesy of Tom Grunert/University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna)

S. aureus is typically detected using a complex procedure involving antibodies that are produced in animal experiments. By contrast, the new Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy technique is a simple matter of shining IR light on the microorganisms. The resulting spectral data are input into an artificial neuronal network, which makes the distinction between strain types. According to Tom Grunert, a doctor of natural sciences who was lead author on a paper describing the approach, the method enables routine testing of patient samples with success rate of approximately 99%.

Understanding of virulence and persistence mechanisms and the way aggressive S. aureus strains switch between them promises to enable better therapies.

1. T. Grunert et al., J. Clin. Microbiol., 51, 7, 2261–2266 (2013).

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

Optical sensor could assist with needle placement for epidurals, other procedures

A newly developed optical sensor can be embedded into an epidural needle, helping to guide the needle to the correct location.  

Spectroscopy: Raman spectroscopy advances for biomedical applications

Raman spectroscopy offers unique analytical capabilities applicable to a wide array of life science applications.

Multispectral method is noninvasive for imaging tissue oxygenation

A new multispectral approach for imaging tissue oxygenation could eliminate the need for surgical intervention.

Raman spectroscopy can help study blood stored in plastic blood bags

Raman spectroscopy can help study blood stored in plastic blood bags

Raman spectroscopy can monitor biochemical changes and inter-donor variability in stored red blood cell units.


Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...



Twitter- BioOptics World