Current Analytical Chemistry

Samuel Achilefu
Washington University
St. Louis, MO


Discrimination of Chemical Profiles of Some Bacterial Species by Analyzing Culture Headspace Air Samples Using TD-GC/MS

Author(s): Ileana-Andreea Ratiu, Victor Bocos-Bintintan, Matthew Turner, Victor-Hugo Moll, Charles Lawrence Paul Thomas.

Graphical Abstract:


In an attempt to discriminate and identify several bacterial species, headspace air samples above a series of bacterial cultures were interrogated using a TD-GC/MS system. Three microorganism strains with relatively low pathogenic character – Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus – were investigated during a period of 72 hours from the inoculation. Air samples with a volume of 1 L each were collected from the headspace above the bacterial cultures in agar growth medium of a 5 cm3 volume kept in 30 cm3 glass vials, in Tenax-Carbograph desorption tubes, by using a custom-built sampling unit based upon a portable air sampling pump. One sample was taken for each of the 10 different cultures of a bacterial strain, at 24, 48 and 72 hours from the incubation. The adsorption tubes were analyzed using the TD-GC/MS system and the resulting datasets – chromatograms and associated mass spectra – were used to produce a qualitative insight into the chemical profile of the headspace air above the bacterial cultures. Analysis by TD-GC/MS indicated that the chemical profile of the headspace air samples was complex and changed during the three days monitoring period; also, there appeared to be a series of chemicals specific to individual species of microorganisms.

Keywords: Microorganisms identification, bacterial chemical profile, TD-GC/MS.

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Article Details

Year: 2014
Page: [488 - 497]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/157341101004140701105219
Price: $58