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Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing by Stimulated Raman Scattering Imaging of Deuterium Incorporation in a Single Bacterium

Published: February 14th, 2022



1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, 2Boston University Photonics Center, Boston University, 3Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 5Department of Chemistry, Boston University

This protocol presents rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) assay within 2.5 h by single-cell-stimulated Raman scattering imaging of D2O metabolism. This method applies to bacteria in the urine or whole blood environment, which is transformative for rapid single-cell phenotypic AST in the clinic.

To slow and prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistant infections, rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) is in urgent need to quantitatively determine the antimicrobial effects on pathogens. It typically takes days to complete the AST by conventional methods based on the long-time culture, and they do not work directly for clinical samples. Here, we report a rapid AST method enabled by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) imaging of deuterium oxide (D2O) metabolic incorporation. Metabolic incorporation of D2O into biomass and the metabolic activity inhibition upon exposure to antibiotics at the single bacterium level are monitored by SRS imaging. The single-cell metabolism inactivation concentration (SC-MIC) of bacteria upon exposure to antibiotics can be obtained after a total of 2.5 h of sample preparation and detection. Furthermore, this rapid AST method is directly applicable to bacterial samples in complex biological environments, such as urine or whole blood. SRS metabolic imaging of deuterium incorporation is transformative for rapid single-cell phenotypic AST in the clinic.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global threat to the effective treatment of infectious disease1. It is predicted that AMR will cause an additional 10 million deaths per year and $100 trillion global GDP loss by 2050 if no action for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria is taken1,2. This stresses the urgent need for rapid and innovative diagnostic methods for antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) of infectious bacteria to slow down the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and reduce the related mortality rate3. To ensure the best pos....

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The use of human blood specimens is in accordance with the guidelines of the IRB of Boston University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Specifically, the specimens are from a bank and are completely deidentified. These specimens are not considered to be human subjects by institutional review board (IRB) office at Boston University.

1. Preparation of bacteria and antibiotics stock solution

  1. Prepare the antibiotics (gentamicin sulfate or amoxicillin) stock solution at .......

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The effect of incubation time on deuterium incorporation is measured by spontaneous Raman microspectroscopy at the C-D (2070 to 2250 cm-1) and C-H (2,800 to 3,100 cm-1) region (Figure 4a). The time-lapse single-cell Raman spectra of P. aeruginosa cultured in 70% D2O containing medium show increasing CD/CH intensity over incubation time from 0 to 180 min. (Figure 4b) The increasing C-D abundance in single microbia.......

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Rapid AST can be obtained by assessing the response of bacterial metabolic activity to antibiotic treatment using single-cell SRS metabolic imaging within 2.5 h from the sample to SC-MIC results. The response of bacterial metabolic activity and antimicrobial susceptibility can be detected by monitoring the metabolic incorporation of D2O for biomolecule synthesis using SRS imaging of C-D bonds. Since water is ubiquitously used in living cells, SRS metabolic imaging provides a universal method for rapid AST. The.......

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This work was supported by NIH R01AI141439 to J.-X.C and M.S, and R35GM136223 to J.-X.C.


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Acousto-optic modulation Gooch&Housego R15180-1.06-LTD Modulating stokes laser beam
Amoxicillin Sigma Aldrich A8523-5G
Bandpass filter Chroma HQ825/150m Block the stokes laser beam before the photodiode
Calcium chloride Sigma Aldrich C1016-100G Cation adjustment
Cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton Broth Fisher Scientific B12322 Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of microorganisms by broth dilution methods
Centrifuge Thermo Scientific 75002542
Cover Glasses VWR 16004-318
Culture tube with snap cap Fisher brand 149569B
Daptomycin Acros A0386346
Deuterium oxide 151882 Organic solvent to dissolve antibiotics
Deuterium oxide-d6 Sigma Aldrich 156914 Organic solvent as a standard to calibrate SRS imaging system
Escherichia coli BW 25113 The Coli Genetic Stock Center 7636
Eppendorf polypropylene microcentrifuge tubes 1.5 mL Fisher brand 05-408-129
Gentamicin sulfate Sigma Aldrich G4918
Hydrophilic Polyvinylidene Fluoride filters Millipore-Sigma SLSV025NB pore size 5 µm
ImageJ software NIH Version: 2.0.0-rc-69/1.52t Image processing and analysis
Incubating orbital shaker set at 37 °C VWR 97009-890
Inoculation loop Sigma BR452201-1000EA
InSight DeepSee femtosecond pulsed laser Spectra-Physics Model: insight X3 Tunable laser source and fixed laser source at 1045 nm for SRS imaging
Lock-in amplifier Zurich Instrument HF2LI Demodulate the SRS signals
Oil condenser Olympus U-AAC NA 1.4
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 47085 (PAO1) American Type Culture Collection ATCC 47085
Photodiode Hamamatsu S3994-01 Detector
Polypropylene conical tube 15 mL Falcon 14-959-53A
Polypropylene filters Thermo Scientific 726-2520 pore size 0.2 µm
Sterile petri dishes Corning 07-202-031
Syringe 10 mL Fisher brand 14955459
UV/Vis Spectrophotometer Beckman Coulter Model: DU 530 Measuring optical density at wavelength of 600 nm
Vortex mixer VWR 97043-562
Water objective Olympus UPLANAPO/IR 60×, NA 1.2

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