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In vitro discrimination of wound-associated bacteria by volatile compound profiling using selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry

Slade, Elisabeth A.; Thorn, R. M.S.; Lovering, A. M.; Young, Amber; Reynolds, Darren M.


Elisabeth A. Slade

Robin Thorn
Associate Professor Molecular Life Sciences

A. M. Lovering

Amber Young


© 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology Aims: To determine if bacterial species responsible for clinically relevant wound infection produce specific volatile profiles that would allow their speciation. Methods and Results: Selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) in full mass scan mode was used to analyse headspace gases produced by wound-associated bacteria grown invitro, so as to enable identification of bacterial volatile product ion profiles in the resulting mass spectra. Applying multivariate statistical analysis (hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis) to the resultant mass spectra enabled clear speciation. Moreover, bacterial volatile product ions could be detected from artificially contaminated wound dressing material, although the pattern of product ions detected was influenced by culture conditions. Conclusions: Using selected product ions from the SIFT-MS mass spectra it is possible to discriminate wound-associated bacterial species grown under specific invitro culture conditions. Significance and Impact of the Study: The results of this study have shown that wound-associated bacteria can be discriminated using volatile analysis invitro and that bacterial volatiles can be detected from wound dressing material. This indicates that volatile analysis of wounds or dressing material to identify infecting microbes has potential and warrants further study.


Reynolds, D. M., Young, A., Lovering, A. M., Thorn, R. M., Slade, E. A., Slade, E. A., …Reynolds, D. M. (2017). In vitro discrimination of wound-associated bacteria by volatile compound profiling using selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 123(1), 233-245.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 15, 2017
Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Journal Journal of Applied Microbiology
Print ISSN 1364-5072
Electronic ISSN 1365-2672
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 123
Issue 1
Pages 233-245
Keywords bacterial metabolism, Selected Ion Flow Tube – Mass Spectrometry, species discrimination, volatile compound, wound
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: In-vitro discrimination of wound associated bacteria by volatile compound profiling using Selected Ion Flow Tube – Mass Spectrometry, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving


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