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J Microbiol Methods. 2006 Jan;64(1):126-31. Epub 2005 Jun 1.

Rapid epidemiological analysis of Acinetobacter strains by Raman spectroscopy.

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  • 1Erasmus MC, Department General Surgery, Center for Optical Diagnostics and Therapy, Room Wk-331, P.O. Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands.


From earlier publications, we noticed that Raman spectra could potentially be used for subspecies identification of microorganisms. Here we evaluated the technique for its use as a typing tool of Acinetobacter species, using a collection of well-characterised strains from five hospital outbreaks. The strains were previously analysed using molecular techniques as cell envelope protein profiling and ribotyping. In this study, we have typed the strains by AFLP analysis and Raman spectroscopy. We compared the results using hierarchical cluster analysis, which showed highly similar groupings by both techniques. There seemed to be some misclassification between two sets of outbreak strains in the Raman analysis. We ascribe this to the clonal relationship between the strains of both outbreaks, described earlier. This results from a highly similar biochemical composition of the strains involved, and hence a highly similar Raman spectrum. We conclude that Raman spectroscopy could be an easy-to-use alternative in epidemiological studies of Acinetobacter strains and a promising starting point for the development of epidemiological studies in general.

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