Author(s): Soejima T, Minami J, Iwatsuki K
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Live and injured bacteria cannot be successfully discriminated using flow cytometric methods (FCM) with commercial live/dead staining agents because injured cells have intact cell membranes and are counted as live cells. We previously reported that photoactivated ethidium monoazide (EMA) directly cleaves bacterial DNA both in vivo and in vitro (Microbiol. Immunol. 51:763-775, 2007). METHODS: We report that EMA cleaves the chromosomal DNA of antibiotic-injured, but not live, Listeria monocytogenes. The combination of FCM and EMA treatment was evaluated as a rapid method to discriminate between live and antibiotic-injured L. monocytogenes. Additionally, we evaluated our methodology using blood from pediatric patients infected with other gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. RESULTS: For antibiotic-injured, but not live, L. monocytogenes in blood, photoactivated EMA suppressed SYTO9 staining, as the SYTO9 staining of the antibiotic-injured L. monocytogenes was weak compared with that of live cells. Similarly, the rapid and clear discrimination between live and injured bacteria (gram-negative and gram-positive) was performed using the blood of pediatric patients administered antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of FCM with EMA treatment is a rapid method for evaluating the susceptibility of live pathogens in infants with bacteremia without the need for bacterial culture. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: This assay is more rapid than other currently available techniques due to the elimination of the time-consuming culture step and could be used in clinical settings to rapidly determine the success of antibiotic treatment in pediatric bacteremia through the discrimination of injured (i.e., susceptible to the administered antibiotics) and live pathogens. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis