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Low-Cost Rapid Diagnostics and Typing for Clinical Microbiology Using Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR)

Kathryn Holt of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom and Senjuti Saha of the Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) in Bangladesh, along with FTIR experts Luísa Peixe and Angela Novais from the University of Porto, will establish Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in a pediatric microbiological diagnostics laboratory in Bangladesh to support clinical and infection control decisions. FTIR is a relatively low-cost, reagent-free technique that can discern different pathogen strains when combined with attenuated total reflection (ATR). They will set up a Spectrum Two FTIR-ATR instrument, on loan from PerkinElmer at the CHRF, train personnel, and use it to acquire spectra from approximately 1,500 isolates from their biobank to identify three clinically important pathogens: Klebsiella, Acinetobacter, and Salmonella. They will assess reproducibility across different users and laboratories on a validation set of 100 sequenced isolates, and finally test whether FTIR can identify pathogens directly in blood to produce more rapid results.

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