Abstract

The inappropriate use of antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance, which is a major health care problem. The current method for determination of bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics requires overnight cultures. However most of the infections cannot wait for the results to receive treatment, so physicians administer general spectrum antibiotics. This results in ineffective treatments and aggravates the rising problem of antibiotic resistance. In this work, a rapid method for diagnosis and antibiogram for a bacterial infection was developed using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) with silver nanoparticles. The advantages of this novel method include its rapidness and efficiency which will potentially allow doctors to prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic for an infection. SERS spectra of three species of gram negative bacteria, Escherichia coli, Proteus spp., and Klebsiella spp. were obtained after 0 and 4 hour exposure to the seven different antibiotics. Bacterial strains were diluted in order to reach the concentration of (2×105 cfu/ml), cells/ml which is equivalent to the minimum concentration found in urine samples from UTIs. Even though the concentration of bacteria was low, species classification was achieved with 94% accuracy using spectra obtained at 0 hours. Sensitivity or resistance to antibiotics was predicted with 81%–100% accuracy from spectra obtained after 4 hours of exposure to the different antibiotics. This technique can be applied directly to urine samples, and with the enhancement provided by SERS, this method has the potential to be developed into a rapid method for same day UTI diagnosis and antibiogram.

© 2013 SPIE

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