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A Raman spectroscopic approach for the cultivation-free identification of microbes

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In the last years the identification of microorganisms by means of different IR and Raman spectroscopic techniques has become quite popular. Most of the studies however apply the various vibrational spectroscopic methods to bulk samples which require at least a short cultivation time of several hours. Nevertheless, bulk identification methods achieve high classification rates which enable even the discrimination between closely related strains or the distinction between resistance capabilities.

However, applying micro-Raman spectroscopy with visible excitation wavelengths enables for the detection of single microorganisms. Especially for time critical process like the fast diagnosis of severe diseases or the identification of bacterial contamination on food samples or pharmaceuticals, a cultivation-free identification of bacteria is required.

In doing so, we established different isolation techniques in combination with Raman spectroscopic identification. Isolating bacteria from different matrixes always has an impact on the Raman spectroscopic identification capability. Therefore, these isolation techniques have to be specially designed to fulfill the spectroscopic requirements. In total the method should enable the identification of pathogens within the first 3 hours.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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