Early diagnosis and specification of bacterial airway infection is of importance, especially in patients who are at high risk for respiratory failure, invasive or non-invasive ventilation and a prolonged hospital stay.
Ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) coupled to a multi-capillary-column (MCC) identifies and quantifies volatile metabolites down to the ng/L- and pg/L-range of analytes within less than 500 s and without any pre-concentration. The IMS investigations are based on different drift times of swarms of ions of metabolites formed directly in air at ambient pressure. Head space over selected microbiological cultures was directly sampled for IMS-chromatograms.
In this in-vitro study IMS-chromatograms of different bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus agalactiae, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter cloacae) and Candida albicans were obtained. The selected bacteria and Candida albicans could be defined and distincted by different metabolites.
Ion mobility spectometry seems to provide a tool for precise bacterial analysis. The results of this pilot study have to be proved by an in-vivo study, especially in patients with airway infections as COPD-exacerbation and pneumonia.
A future aspect might be the implementation of an “IMS –beside-test” for the rapid diagnosis of airway infection including bacterial differentiation.
Michael Westhoff, None.