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J Microbiol Methods. 2003 Oct;55(1):121-31.

Identification of species of Brucella using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

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Departamento de Microbiología, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Facultad de Medicina. Ramón y Cajal 7, 47005, Valladolid, Spain.


Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a technique that has been used over the years in chemical analysis for the identification of substances and is one that may be applied to the characterisation of microorganisms. The marked tendency of Brucella towards variation in the smooth rough phase, together with the laboriousness and risk involved in the methods used in their identification, make their classification difficult. We studied the type strains of the different species and biovars of Brucella and 11 isolates of human origin of Brucella melitensis, six corresponding to biovar 1, one to biovar 2 and five to biovar 3. The results of linear discriminant analysis performed using the data provide an above 95% likelihood of correct classification, over half of which are in fact above 99% for the vast majority of Brucella strains. Only one case of B. melitensis biovar 1 has been incorrectly classified. The rest of the microorganisms studied (Staphylococcus aureus, Strteptococcus pyogenes, Enterococcus faecalis, Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) have been classified correctly in all cases to a likelihood of over 80%. In the graphic representation of the analysis, a grouping of these can be seen in clusters, which include the different species. One of these comprises B. melitensis, another Brucella abortus, and another wider one is made up of Brucella suis. The Brucella canis, Brucella ovis and Brucella neotomae strains appear separate from the previously described groups.

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