Creative Commons, CC-BY
Published Online: September 30, 2022
Emission of hydrogen (H2) emerging from microorganisms if cultured in appropriate nutrient medium in closed septum vials are monitored utilizing both headspace-gas chromatography and a specific hydrogen sensor. While obligate aerobic bacteria produce only CO2 and water by aerobic oxidation, facultative anaerobes can emit CO2 and H2 as significant compounds for these classes of bacteria. Obligate anaerobic bacteria emit H2 too but need an oxygen-free atmosphere which can be achieved if the air in the septum vial is replaced by nitrogen. The samples under investigation, either solid or liquid samples and from smears by wads from a cotton bud, are cultured in the headspace vials and the hydrogen emission was monitored after the necessary time of incubation and thus microbe contamination was detected. Antibiotics added to the bacterial culture in the vial are found to be effective if any gas emission is suppressed. If not, they are either ineffective or the bacteria are even resistant. Both pharmaceutical and natural antibiotics were examined, and some were found to be effective or resistant. This method was applied to investigate bacterial contamination of food, household requisite, medical specimens and for the diagnosis and therapy of Lyme- borreliosis caused by tick infection. After infection the responsible borrelia bacteria are detected in ticks and, after transfer to the human body, in blood too. The effect of the antibiotics applied can be examined and the progress of an antibiotic therapy can be controlled until its final success is recognized.
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