• N-halamine;
  • hypochlorite;
  • metabolite;
  • cells;
  • LC-MS;
  • PCA


The effects of two halogenated compounds (sodium hypochlorite and N-halamine polymers) on the Escherichia coli metabolome were investigated. Changes in the intracellular metabolite pools of bacterial cells treated with different formulations of these compounds were analysed using FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra Red) spectroscopy and LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy). Principal component analysis was used to generate metabolic profiles of the intracellular metabolites to investigate the effect of sublethal concentrations on the metabolome of treated cells. The effect of treatment with sodium hypochlorite was quantitatively dependent on the exposure time. The resulting metabolic profiles supported our previous hypothesis that the mode of action of some halogenated compounds, such as N-halamine polymers, can be initiated by release of halogen ions into the aqueous environment, in addition to direct contact between the solid polymer material and the bacterial cells. Moreover, the metabolic profiles were able to differentiate between the effect of free and polymer-bound halogen. Our metabolomic approach was used for hypothesis generation to distinguish apparently different bactericidal effects of free and polymer-bound halogen. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011