Table_3_Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy for Typing of Clinical Enterobacter cloacae Complex Isolates.xlsx
Members of the Enterobacter (E.) cloacae complex have emerged as important pathogens frequently encountered in nosocomial infections. Several outbreaks with E. cloacae complex have been reported in recent years, especially in neonatal units. Fast and reliable strain typing methods are crucial for real-time surveillance and outbreak analysis to detect pathogen reservoirs and transmission routes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as a fast method for typing of clinical E. cloacae complex isolates, when whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis was used as reference. First, the technique was used retrospectively on 24 first isolates of E. cloacae complex strains from neonatal patients and showed good concordance with SNP-based clustering [adjusted rand index (ARI) = 0.818] and with the sequence type (ST) (ARI = 0.801). 29 consecutive isolates from the same patients were shown by WGS analysis to almost always belong to the same SNP cluster as the first isolates, which was only inconsistently recognized by FTIR spectroscopy. Training of an artificial neural network (ANN) with all FTIR spectra from sequenced strains markedly improved the recognition of related and unrelated isolate spectra. In a second step, FTIR spectroscopy was applied on 14 strains during an outbreak with E. cloacae complex and provided fast typing results that were confirmed by WGS analysis. In conclusion, FTIR spectroscopy is a promising tool for strain typing of clinical E. cloacae complex strains. Discriminatory power can be improved by implementing an ANN for spectrum analysis. Due to its low costs and fast turnaround times, the method presents a valuable tool for real-time surveillance as well as outbreak analysis.