Anal Chem. 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c04709. Online ahead of print.
Human health is at great risk due to the spreading of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The lengthy procedure of conventional antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) usually requires a few days. We developed a fast Raman-assisted antibiotic susceptibility test (FRAST), which detects single bacterial metabolic activity in the presence of antibiotics, using Raman single-cell spectroscopy. It was found that single-cell Raman spectra (SCRS) would show a clear and distinguishable Raman band at the "silent zone" (2000-2300 cm-1), due to the active incorporation of deuterium from heavy water (D2O) by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This pilot study has compared the FRAST and the conventional AST for six clinical standard quality controls (four Gram-negative and two Gram-positive bacteria strains) in response to 38 antibiotics. In total, 3200 treatments have been carried out and approximately 64 000 SCRS have been acquired for FRAST analysis. The result showed an overall agreement of 88.0% between the FRAST and the conventional AST assay. The gram-staining classification based on the linear discriminant analysis (LDA) model of SCRS was developed, seamlessly coupling with the FRAST to further reduce the turnaround time. We applied the FRAST to real clinical analysis for nine urinary infectious samples and three sepsis samples. The results were consistent with MALDI-TOF identification and the conventional AST. Under the optimal conditions, the "sample to report" of the FRAST could be reduced to 3 h for urine samples and 21 h for sepsis samples. The FRAST provides fast and reliable susceptibility tests, which could speed up microbiological analysis for clinical practice and facilitate antibiotic stewardship.