Vincent Baron (School of Medicine) a PhD student in the Gillespie group presented his exciting research project at the Acid-Fast Club hosted by Public Health England in Porton Down (7 and 8 of July 2016).
The Acid Fast Club is a national group of researchers interested in all aspects of mycobacterial diseases – the acid fast bacilli.
His talk, “Phenotypic discrimination of M. tuberculosis single cell in infected lung tissue by Raman spectroscopy” reports, for the first time, a method that can determine the metabolic cell state of M tuberculosis. It achieves this by examining the lipid content of individual cells in TB infected tissue using Raman Spectroscopy. This is an important development because it is label-free and does not destroy the sample – so it is available for other tests.
This innovation was made possible through a close collaboration with Kishan Dholakia’s group in Physics a good example of inter school working.
An important result that emerges from the development is that, in tissues, the lipid rich phenotype dominates. This is very important for treatment as the Gillespie group has already shown that these cells are more resistant to the antibiotics used to treat tuberculosis.