Deep learning and single-cell phenotyping for rapid antimicrobial susceptibility detection in Escherichia coli.
Communications biology 6:1 (2023) 1164
Abstract:The rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest public health challenges, already causing up to 1.2 million deaths annually and rising. Current culture-based turnaround times for bacterial identification in clinical samples and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) are typically 18-24 h. We present a novel proof-of-concept methodological advance in susceptibility testing based on the deep-learning of single-cell specific morphological phenotypes directly associated with antimicrobial susceptibility in Escherichia coli. Our models can reliably (80% single-cell accuracy) classify untreated and treated susceptible cells for a lab-reference fully susceptible E. coli strain, across four antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, rifampicin and co-amoxiclav). For ciprofloxacin, we demonstrate our models reveal significant (p < 0.001) differences between bacterial cell populations affected and unaffected by antibiotic treatment, and show that given treatment with a fixed concentration of 10 mg/L over 30 min these phenotypic effects correlate with clinical susceptibility defined by established clinical breakpoints. Deploying our approach on cell populations from six E. coli strains obtained from human bloodstream infections with varying degrees of ciprofloxacin resistance and treated with a range of ciprofloxacin concentrations, we show single-cell phenotyping has the potential to provide equivalent information to growth-based AST assays, but in as little as 30 min.
A new twist on PIFE: photoisomerisation-related fluorescence enhancement.
Methods and applications in fluorescence 12:1 (2023)
Abstract:PIFE was first used as an acronym for protein-induced fluorescence enhancement, which refers to the increase in fluorescence observed upon the interaction of a fluorophore, such as a cyanine, with a protein. This fluorescence enhancement is due to changes in the rate ofcis/transphotoisomerisation. It is clear now that this mechanism is generally applicable to interactions with any biomolecule. In this review, we propose that PIFE is thereby renamed according to its fundamental working principle as photoisomerisation-related fluorescence enhancement, keeping the PIFE acronym intact. We discuss the photochemistry of cyanine fluorophores, the mechanism of PIFE, its advantages and limitations, and recent approaches to turning PIFE into a quantitative assay. We provide an overview of its current applications to different biomolecules and discuss potential future uses, including the study of protein-protein interactions, protein-ligand interactions and conformational changes in biomolecules.
RNA polymerase redistribution supports growth in E. coli strains with a minimal number of rRNA operons.
Nucleic acids research 51:15 (2023) 8085-8101
Abstract:Bacterial transcription by RNA polymerase (RNAP) is spatially organized. RNAPs transcribing highly expressed genes locate in the nucleoid periphery, and form clusters in rich medium, with several studies linking RNAP clustering and transcription of rRNA (rrn). However, the nature of RNAP clusters and their association with rrn transcription remains unclear. Here we address these questions by using single-molecule tracking to monitor the subcellular distribution of mobile and immobile RNAP in strains with a heavily reduced number of chromosomal rrn operons (Δrrn strains). Strikingly, we find that the fraction of chromosome-associated RNAP (which is mainly engaged in transcription) is robust to deleting five or six of the seven chromosomal rrn operons. Spatial analysis in Δrrn strains showed substantial RNAP redistribution during moderate growth, with clustering increasing at cell endcaps, where the remaining rrn operons reside. These results support a model where RNAPs in Δrrn strains relocate to copies of the remaining rrn operons. In rich medium, Δrrn strains redistribute RNAP to minimize growth defects due to rrn deletions, with very high RNAP densities on rrn genes leading to genomic instability. Our study links RNAP clusters and rrn transcription, and offers insight into how bacteria maintain growth in the presence of only 1-2 rrn operons.
Cover Feature: Bleaching‐resistant, Near‐continuous Single‐molecule Fluorescence and FRET Based on Fluorogenic and Transient DNA Binding (ChemPhysChem 12/2023)
ChemPhysChem Wiley 24:12 (2023)
The displacement of the σ70finger in initial transcription is highly heterogeneous and promoter-dependent