Direct analysis of clinical relevant single bacterial cells from cerebrospinal fluid during bacterial meningitis by means of micro-Raman spectroscopy



Bacterial meningitis is a relevant public health concern. Despite the availability of modern treatment strategies it is still a life-threatening disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality. Therefore, an initial treatment approach plays an important role. For in-time identification of specific bacterial pathogens of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and emerged antimicrobial and adjunctive treatment, microbiological examination is of major importance. This contribution spotlights the potential of micro-Raman spectroscopy as a biomedical assay for direct analysis of bacteria in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with bacterial meningitis. The influence of miscellaneous artificial environments on several bacterial species present during bacterial meningitis was studied by means of Raman spectroscopy. The application of chemometric data interpretation via hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) allows for the differentiation of in vitro cultured bacterial cells and can also be achieved on a single cell level. Moreover as proof of principle the investigation of a CSF sample obtained from a patient with meningococcal meningitis showed that the cerebrospinal fluid matrix does not mask the Raman spectrum of a bacterial cell notably since via chemometric analysis with HCA an identification of N. meningitidis cells from patients with bacterial meningitis could be achieved. (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)