Correlation of crystal violet biofilm test results of Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates with Raman spectroscopic read-out

in: Journal of Raman Spectroscopy (2021)
Ebert, Christina; Tuchscherr, Lorena; Unger, Nancy; Pöllath, Christine; Gladigau, Frederike; Popp, Jürgen; Löffler, Bettina; Neugebauer, Ute
Biofilm-related infections occur quite frequently in hospital settings and require rapid diagnostic identification as they are recalcitrant to antibiotic therapy and make special treatment necessary. One of the standard microbiological in vitro tests is the crystal violet test. It indirectly determines the amount of biofilm by measuring the optical density (OD) of the crystal violetstained biofilm matrix and cells. However, this test is quite time-consuming, as it requires bacterial cultivation up to several days. In this study, we correlate fast Raman spectroscopic read-out of clinical Staphylococcus aureus isolates from 47 patients with different disease background with their biofilm-forming characteristics. Included were low (OD 20) biofilm performers as determined by the crystal violet test. Raman spectroscopic analysis of the bacteria revealed most spectral differences between high and low biofilm performers in the fingerprint region between 750 and 1150 cm1 . Using partial least square regression (PLSR) analysis on the Raman spectra involving the three categories of biofilm formation, it was possible to obtain a slight linear correlation of the Raman spectra with the biofilm OD values. The PLSR loading coefficient highlighted spectral differences between high and low biofilm performers for Raman bands that represent nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and proteins. Our results point to a possible application of Raman spectroscopy as a fast prediction tool for biofilm formation of bacterial strains directly after isolation from the infected patient. This could help clinicians make timely and adapted therapeutic decision in future.

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