Meng Zhang, Mohamed N. Seleem, and Ji-Xin Cheng have published "Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing by Stimulated Raman Scattering Imaging of Deuterium Incorporation in a Single Bacterium" in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).

To slow and prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistant infections, rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) is in urgent need to quantitatively determine the antimicrobial effects on pathogens. It typically takes days to complete the AST by conventional methods based on the long-time culture, and they do not work directly for clinical samples. Here, we report a rapid AST method enabled by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) imaging of deuterium oxide (D2O) metabolic incorporation. Metabolic incorporation of D2O into biomass and the metabolic activity inhibition upon exposure to antibiotics at the single bacterium level are monitored by SRS imaging. The single-cell metabolism inactivation concentration (SC-MIC) of bacteria upon exposure to antibiotics can be obtained after a total of 2.5 h of sample preparation and detection. Furthermore, this rapid AST method is directly applicable to bacterial samples in complex biological environments, such as urine or whole blood. SRS metabolic imaging of deuterium incorporation is transformative for rapid single-cell phenotypic AST in the clinic.

Seleem is the Tyler J. and Frances F. Young Chair in Bacteriology and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.