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Mass spectrometry imaging of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria

Grant number: 19/05482-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Ana Valéria Colnaghi Simionato
Grantee:Milena Cristina Vieira Fernandes
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Pathogenic bacteria are one of the main research targets due to the prevalence in the environment, more specifically in the health context. Antibiotics use is crucial to treat disease symptoms caused by harmful lineages of such bacteria. However, they are able to evolve acquiring resistance to the antibiotics. Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an example of resistant pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, their resistance characteristic are of scientific interest. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) coupled to desorption electrospray (DESI) is a powerful technique to understand how such resistance characteristics evolve from bacteria and how they can be potentially treated. Identification of different ions with specific m/z ratios in resistant and wild lineages, besides their respective localization on the colonies surface, will aid identification of potential MRSA metabolites that confer antibiotic resistance. Since DESI-MSI analysis is performed under environmental conditions, a scarce or no sample preparation step is required, what maintains the bacteria colony integrity and enables the detection of potential indicators of the compounds physiological functions. In the near future, we hope it will be possible to find alternative treatments to the currently used antibiotics, which is a great impact in the health and economy sectors.

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