African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5210

Full Length Research Paper

Detection limit for differentiating between various Mycobacterium species and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics: A comparison of two extraction methods

Ilse du Preez1,2 and Du Toit Loots1*
1Centre for Human Metabonomics, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa. 2Department of Biochemistry, School of Environmental and Health Sciences, North-West University (Mafikeng Campus), Mmabatho, 2735, South Africa
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 25 February 2013
  •  Published: 26 February 2013


Previously, we investigated the capacity of a metabolomics research approach to characterise and differentiate between various infectious Mycobacterium species andPseudomonas aeruginosa, and compared two extraction procedures, prior to gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and statistical data analyses. In the current investigation, we report that the minimum sample material required (detection limit) for this speciation is 250 cells, using the total metabolome extraction method, and 2500 cells, using the fatty acid metabolome extraction procedure. Considering these detection limits, both methods compared significantly well with the currently used tuberculosis diagnostic methods and have the potential to be implemented clinically.


Key words: Detection limit, tuberculosis, metabolomics


TB, Tuberculosis; GC-MS, gas chromatography mass spectrometry;PCA, principal component analysis; AMDIS, automated mass spectral deconvolution and identification system; MYCO-LCS, Sherlock Mycobacteria identification system.