Researchers develop laser-based meningitis test
Several different types of bacteria can cause bacterial meningitis - the onset of which can be rapid and severe - and as each is sensitive to different antibiotics their speedy identification is crucial.
The researchers found that using a spectroscopic imaging technique known as SERS (surface enhanced Raman scattering) - which basically involves firing a laser into a sample that has been exposed to silver particles - is able to identify more than one bacterium at a time, and thereby paves the way for faster and more targeted treatment.
Combining the SERS technique with chemometrics – data-driven extraction of information from chemical systems – allows for the amount of bacteria in a sample to be measured while simultaneously identifying the bacteria.
The test would be particularly useful "where co-infection of multiple species is common and identifying the dominant pathogen present would allow targeted treatment".