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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2008 Mar;390(6):1629-35. doi: 10.1007/s00216-008-1834-1. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Identification of five Listeria species based on infrared spectra (FTIR) using macrosamples is superior to a microsample approach.

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  • 1Abteilung Mikrobiologie, Zentralinstitut für Ernährungs- und Lebensmittelforschung, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, 85350, Freising, Germany.


Microorganisms can be identified using both macrosamples and microsamples based on infrared spectra (FTIR). This work compares the identification of the five closely related Listeria species L. innocua, L. ivanovii, L. monocytogenes, L. seeligeri, and L. welshimeri using both methods. The overall identification success for 25 strains was 92.8% for the former and 79.2% for the latter methods, respectively. The worst performances of the microsample method were obtained for L. innocua, L. ivanovii, and L. monocytogenes, while L. seeligeri and L. welshimeri did not show significant differences between the techniques. Identification success was mainly influenced by the age of the cells and the spatial heterogeneity of the microcolonies, as analyzed by the microsample method. Spectra of Listeria cells near the stationary phase exhibited more species-specific markers and thus allowed for better discrimination than spectra of growing cells. Furthermore, the heterogeneity of cell composition at different locations in microcolonies of L. innocua, L. ivanovii and L. monocytogenes resulted in limited discrimination success of the microsample method. We conclude that, at least in the case of Listeria, the macrosample method is superior to the microsample method, although the latter is the faster technique.

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