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Anal Chem. 2005 May 1;77(9):2901-6.

Monitoring the mode of action of antibiotics using Raman spectroscopy: investigating subinhibitory effects of amikacin on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester, P.O. Box 88, Sackville Street, Manchester, M60 1QD, United Kingdom.


During the last 20 years the rate at which new antimicrobial agents are produced has decreased dramatically, with concomitant increase in the number of pathogens that are becoming multidrug resistant. Together these have created a patient healthcare risk and this is of great concern. A crucial aspect for the discovery of new antibiotics is the development of new techniques that allow rapid and accurate characterization of the mode of action of the pharmacophore. In this work UV resonance Raman (UVRR) spectroscopy has been developed to monitor the concentration effect of antibiotics on bacterial cells. UVRR was conducted at 244 nm and spectra were collected in typically 60 s. Supervised multivariate analysis and 2D correlation spectroscopy were used to evaluate whether the UVRR spectra contained valuable information that could be used to study the mode of action of antibiotics. The clustering pattern in the discriminant factors space correlated directly to the concentration of amikacin, and partial least squares (PLS) regression analysis of the UVRR spectra was able to predict the concentration of amikacin to which bacterial cells had been exposed. 2D correlation spectroscopy contour maps indicated that spectral changes due to the presence of amikacin in the growth media occur according to the known mode of action of the studied antibiotic. Therefore, we conclude that UVRR spectroscopy, when coupled with chemometrics and 2D correlation spectroscopy, constitutes a powerful approach for the development and screening of new antibiotics.

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