A chromatographic approach to distinguish Gram-positive from Gram-negative bacteria using exogenous volatile organic compound metabolites

Ramírez-Guízar, Susana, Sykes, Hannah, Perry, John, Schwalbe, Ed, Stanforth, Stephen, Perez-Perez, Ma. Cristina and Dean, John (2017) A chromatographic approach to distinguish Gram-positive from Gram-negative bacteria using exogenous volatile organic compound metabolites. Journal of Chromatography A, 1501. pp. 79-88. ISSN 0021-9673

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2017.04.015


This paper utilized L-alanine aminopeptidase activity as a useful approach to distinguish between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. This was done using two enzyme substrates, specifically 2-amino-N-phenylpropanamide and 2-amino-N-(4-methylphenyl)propanamide which liberated the volatile compounds aniline and p-toluidine, respectively. Two complementary analytical techniques have been used to identify and quantify the VOCs, specifically static headspace multicapillary column gas chromatography ion mobility spectrometry (SHS-MCC-GC-IMS) and headspace solid phase microextraction gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS). Superior limits of detection were obtained using HS-SPME-GC-MS, typically by a factor of x6 such that the LOD for aniline was 0.02 μg/mL and 0.01 μg/mL for p-toluidine. In addition, it was also possible to determine indole interference-free by HS-SPME-GC-MS at an LOD of 0.01 μg/mL. The approach was applied to a range of selected bacteria: 15 Gram-negative and 7 Gram-positive bacteria. Use of pattern recognition, in the form of Principal Component Analysis, confirmed that it is possible to differentiate between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria using the enzyme generated VOCs, aniline and p-toluidine. The exception was Stenotrophomonas maltophilia which showed negligible VOC concentrations for both aniline and p-toluidine, irrespective of the analytical techniques used and hence was not characteristic of the other Gram-negative bacteria investigated. The developed methodology has the potential to be applied for clinical and food applications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, enzyme substrate, L-alanine aminopeptidase
Subjects: C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
F100 Chemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2017 09:49
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 08:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/30504

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