The application of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to characterizing bacteria is an active area of investigation. Micro- and nano-structured SERS substrates have enabled detection of pathogens present in biofluids. Several publications have focused on determining the spectral bands characteristic of bacteria from different species and cell lines. In this report, the spectra of fifteen commonly used bacterial growth media are presented. In many instances, these spectra are similar to published spectra purportedly characteristic of specific bacterial species. The findings presented herein suggest that bacterial fingerprinting by SERS requires further examination.

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