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Learning objectives

  • Describe examples of biosynthesis products within a cell that can be detected to identify bacteria

Accurate identification of bacterial isolates is essential in a clinical microbiology laboratory because the results often inform decisions about treatment that directly affect patient outcomes. For example, cases of food poisoning require accurate identification of the causative agent so that physicians can prescribe appropriate treatment. Likewise, it is important to accurately identify the causative pathogen during an outbreak of disease so that appropriate strategies can be employed to contain the epidemic.

There are many ways to detect, characterize, and identify microorganisms. Some methods rely on phenotypic biochemical characteristics, while others use genotypic identification. The biochemical characteristics of a bacterium provide many traits that are useful for classification and identification. Analyzing the nutritional and metabolic capabilities of the bacterial isolate is a common approach for determining the genus and the species of the bacterium. Some of the most important metabolic pathways that bacteria use to survive will be discussed in Microbial Metabolism . In this section, we will discuss a few methods that use biochemical characteristics to identify microorganisms.

Some microorganisms store certain compounds as granules within their cytoplasm, and the contents of these granules can be used for identification purposes. For example, poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is a carbon- and energy-storage compound found in some nonfluorescent bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas . Different species within this genus can be classified by the presence or the absence of PHB and fluorescent pigments. The human pathogen P. aeruginosa and the plant pathogen P. syringae are two examples of fluorescent Pseudomonas species that do not accumulate PHB granules.

Other systems rely on biochemical characteristics to identify microorganisms by their biochemical reactions, such as carbon utilization and other metabolic tests. In small laboratory settings or in teaching laboratories, those assays are carried out using a limited number of test tubes. However, more modern systems, such as the one developed by Biolog, Inc., are based on panels of biochemical reactions performed simultaneously and analyzed by software. Biolog’s system identifies cells based on their ability to metabolize certain biochemicals and on their physiological properties, including pH and chemical sensitivity. It uses all major classes of biochemicals in its analysis. Identifications can be performed manually or with the semi- or fully automated instruments.

Another automated system identifies microorganisms by determining the specimen’s mass spectrum and then comparing it to a database that contains known mass spectra for thousands of microorganisms. This method is based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry ( MALDI-TOF ) and uses disposable MALDI plates on which the microorganism is mixed with a specialized matrix reagent ( [link] ). The sample/reagent mixture is irradiated with a high-intensity pulsed ultraviolet laser, resulting in the ejection of gaseous ions generated from the various chemical constituents of the microorganism. These gaseous ions are collected and accelerated through the mass spectrometer, with ions traveling at a velocity determined by their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z), thus, reaching the detector at different times. A plot of detector signal versus m/z yields a mass spectrum for the organism that is uniquely related to its biochemical composition. Comparison of the mass spectrum to a library of reference spectra obtained from identical analyses of known microorganisms permits identification of the unknown microbe.

Questions & Answers

what is the size of virus
Beatrice Reply
What is the difference between TVC and Bioburden test
Mohamed
?
Mohamed
structure of bacteria and 10 types
Jennifer Reply
what is accidental host?
Domingo Reply
what is endomembrane system
Ikpi Reply
what is human anatomy
Ikpi
okay. Go ahead and ask
Blessing Reply
Industrial microbiology mcq
mohamed
Okay. What's your question?
Blessing
life arises from living matter or live organism.
Swami Reply
yes
sildra
I think live matter arises from non living matter
sildra
I dont think so...can u explain with an example
Manya
living maters made by non living matters
sildra
non living matters like stones? rocks?
Manya
eno
sildra
no
sildra
then?
Manya
cells are made by C N O minerals etc
sildra
I mentioned these as non living maters
sildra
that's all
sildra
cells are made up of those things but they originate from living things..
Manya
ok
sildra
Ok..good chat:-)
Manya
where are you from
sildra
thanks
sildra
India...u?
Manya
Tamil nadu
sildra
I am from Maharashtra
Manya
what about your studies
sildra
completed bsc.. preparing for msc entrance...wbu?
Manya
same
sildra
are you microbiologist
sildra
yes i am
Manya
good
sildra
what s the scope for micro in ur state?
Manya
did you find your college to higher studies
sildra
have to give an entrance exam for every college here...so lets c
Manya
food industries, medical lab, vaccine industries ,etc
sildra
hoping for pune University...wbu?
Manya
great!
Manya
is that centeral University right
sildra
what is your namr
sildra
hello
Udhaya
Hi
Maruf
Family kindly help me with this question? 1) Shortlist the configurative measurements of the following human anatomical ranges of÷ - Blood ( haemeglobin) in both male and female - Haematocytes in both male and female - Hepatocytes in both male and female - Lymphocyte / T. Lymphocytes in both male
Gifted
My names are Gift Mwale and am a Zambian. Kindly help me with this research which goes like this... 1) Shortlist the configurative measurements of the following human anatomical ranges of ÷ - Blood ( haemeglobin) in both male and female - Hepatocytes in both male and female - Haematocytes in both
Gifted
please what is the full meaning for TCDS
UDEME
from a single cell
Freedom
tcds means transcranial direct current stimulation...in this small electric currents are given to brain( specific parts) to help increase brain performance or to help with depression.. current should be in range 0.5-2.0mA
Manya
what's underlying disease relating unsanitary diet microorganism with the highest rate of epidemology solution and efficacy leading molecules elucidated structural solutions
feven
please can anybody talk about brain tumour and its cure.
BELLO Reply
enlargement of the thyroid gland resulting in over production of hormone.
Kamal Reply
What can u say on Thyroid Cancer?
Abdulkareem
Please, talk about the thyroid cancer.
BELLO
explain the Grave's disease
John Reply
what is cell
Avi Reply
is unit of life
Kamaluddeen
Ok
mohamed
who is an industrial microbiologist
Cynthia Reply
I want to know the biochemical composition of bacteria
Josh Reply
It contains peptidoglcon, DNA nd RNA
Asiya
what are Carrier protein
Ikpi
bacteriophage disadvantage
Momina Reply
disease due to __________ abnormalities are termed primary immunodeficiencies
Tayee Reply
Some primary immunodeficiencies are due to a defect of a single cellular or humoral component of the immune system.
Prince
Examples of primary immunodeficiencies include: chronic granulomatous disease, X-linked agammaglobulinemia, selective IgA deficiency etc
Prince
thank you
Nana
explain microbial mutation
Emerald
what is mutation
Cynthia Reply
alteration in genetic makeup
UDEME
Practice MCQ 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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