VOC Fingerprints: Metabolomic Signatures of Biothreat Agents with and without Antibiotic Resistance
Journal Article - Open Access
GEORGE MASON UNIV MANASSAS VA MANASSAS United States
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Category A and B biothreat agents are deemed to be of great concern by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC and include the bacteria Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Brucella species. Underscored by the impact of the 2020 SARSCoV-2 outbreak, 2016 Zika pandemic, 2014 Ebola outbreak, 2001 anthrax letter attacks, and 1984 Rajneeshee Salmonella attacks, the threat of future epidemicspandemics andor terroristcriminal use of pathogenic organisms warrants continued exploration and development of both classic and alternative methods of detecting biothreat agents. Volatile organic compounds VOCs comprise a large and highly diverse group of carbon-based molecules, generally related by their volatility at ambient temperature. Recently, the diagnostic potential of VOCs has been realized, as correlations between the microbial VOC metabolome and specific bacterial pathogens have been identified. Herein, we describe the use of microbial VOC profiles as fingerprints for the identification of biothreat-relevant microbes, and for differentiating between a kanamycin susceptible and resistant strain. Additionally, we demonstrate microbial VOC profiling using a rapid-throughput VOC metabolomics method we refer to as simultaneous multifiber headspace solid-phase microextraction simultihSPME. Finally, through VOC analysis, we illustrate a rapid non-invasive approach to the diagnosis of BALBc mice infected with either F. tularensis SCHU S4 or Y. pestis CO92.