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Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy




Infection diagnosis Bacteria Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy Blood Artificial neural network


The ability to rapidly and accurately detect and identify pathogenic bacteria in clinically-obtained blood specimens with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is evaluated. Samples of blood obtained from five patients in a local hospital were confirmed to be negative for the presence of bacteria by the pathology department and were then tested with LIBS. Specimens of blood were tested as obtained from the hospital with no other alteration as control samples and were also intentionally spiked with known aliquots of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter cloacae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to simulate blood infections. LIBS spectra were acquired from blood deposited on nitrocellulose filters. The intensities of 15 emission lines measured in the spectra and 92 ratios of those line intensities were used as 107 independent variables in a partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) to discriminate between sterile control samples and those spiked with bacteria. In addition, the entire LIBS spectrum from 200 nm – 590 nm was input into an artificial neural network analysis with principal component analysis pre-processing (PCA-ANN) to diagnose the bacterial species once detected. The PLS-DA test possessed a 96.3% sensitivity and a 98.6% specificity for the detection of pathogenic bacteria in blood when 776 spectra from 26 filters were tested by removing one entire filter at a time from the model and testing each spectrum individually. When all the spectra obtained from a filter were averaged to enhance the signal to noise of the spectrum, 19 of 19 filters of infected blood tested positive and 7 of 7 filters with sterile blood tested negative, yielding 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The PCA-ANN test performed on the entire LIBS spectrum possessed a 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity when using 80% of the data to build a model and withholding 20% for cross-validation testing. The same PCA-ANN performed on each of the 19 filters individually, using the other 18 filters to build the model, possessed an average sensitivity of 85.5%, an average specificity of 95.0%, and a classification accuracy of 92.5%. These results indicate the potential usefulness of LIBS for detecting and diagnosing blood infections in a clinical setting.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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