This study conducted by physicists from IKBFU was aimed at finding bacteria and evaluating their resistance to antibiotics without damaging the biological material. The study is overall related to tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial disease caused by antibiotic-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although TB affects all the organs of the body it is said to mostly affect the lungs.
The use of Raman scattering spectrography to quickly analyze bacterial cells was suggested by a group of researchers from IKBFU. They were accompanied by their colleagues from Saint-Petersburg State Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology and Saint-Petersburg State University.
The strains of TB were first observed in Beijing. And the need for spectrography was realized when these strains started becoming resistant to medicinal drugs. Hence, for both clinical practice and scientific research, new methods for quick identification of drug-resistant bacteria were needed.
Spectrography is a non-invasive method that helps in identifying the composition and structure of the material under study. This is grounded on the scattering of laser radiation with a certain wavelength by its sample.
During this procedure, a laser beam was pointed by the scientists at various bacterias. This was done to yield information pertaining to the structure of the cells that belonged to different strains. The light then got scattered because of the occurrence of resistance to antibiotics and changes in the configuration of bacteria’s cell wall components.
Andrey Zyubin, a senior research associate at the Scientific and Educational Centre (IKBFU) said, “The data published by us contains information of spectrums typical for different strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. According to the results of the experiment, Raman spectroscopy may be a useful tool for determining the levels of drug resistance in tuberculosis agents.”
Tuberculosis is one of the most life-threatening diseases. According to World Health Organisation, it was the cause of over 1.3 million (13 lakhs) deaths among HIV negative people and around 300,000 deaths in HIV positive people in the world in 2017. Every year, this number is increasing at a rate of 10 million (1 crore).
According to TB Facts, India alone faced 4,35,000 deaths in 2016 due to TB.
Until the use of Raman scattering spectrography, standard biological and chemical methods were used to determine the level of drug resistance of the bacteria. As said in reports, the material for the study was provided by the Saint-Petersburg State Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology.
This study is one of the major advancements of IKBFU as it would help millions of beings fighting against this deadly disease called Tuberculosis.