Metabolite profiling of Clostridium difficile ribotypes using small molecular weight volatile organic compounds
journal contributionposted on 02.08.2017, 10:53 by S. Kuppusami, M. R. J. Clokie, T. Panayi, A. M. Ellis, P. S. Monks
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by cultures of ten different Clostridium difficile ribotypes have been profiled using proton transfer reaction-time of flight-mass spectrometry. A total of 69 VOCs were identified and combinations of these VOCs were found to be characteristic for each of the ribotypes. The VOC patterns, with the aid of a statistical analysis, have been shown to be useful in distinguishing different ribotypes. A tentative assignment of different masses also shows that different ribotypes have markedly different emissions of methanol, p-cresol, dimethylamine and a range sulfur compounds (ethylene sulfide, dimethylsulfide and methyl thioacetate), which point to VOCs as potential indicators of different metabolic pathways in virulent and less-virulent strains. The results establish the potential of detecting emitted VOC metabolites to differentiate between closely related C. difficile ribotypes and in the longer term provide metabolic insight into virulence.