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Anal Chem. 2007 Apr 1;79(7):2658-73. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Raman chemical imaging spectroscopy reagentless detection and identification of pathogens: signature development and evaluation.

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  • 1Division of Microbiology, Department of Environmental & Infectious Disease Sciences, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 6825 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.


An optical detection method, Raman chemical imaging spectroscopy (RCIS), is reported, which combines Raman spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and digital imaging. Using this method, trace levels of biothreat organisms are detected in the presence of complex environmental backgrounds without the use of amplification or enhancement techniques. RCIS is reliant upon the use of Raman signatures and automated recognition algorithms to perform species-level identification. The rationale and steps for constructing a pathogen Raman signature library are described, as well as the first reported Raman spectra from live, priority pathogens, including Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, Francisella tularensis, Brucella abortus, and ricin. Results from a government-managed blind trial evaluation of the signature library demonstrated excellent specificity under controlled laboratory conditions.

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