Developing elemental and isotope analytical methods for bacterial investigations

Freemantle, Richard John (2016) Developing elemental and isotope analytical methods for bacterial investigations. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The threat of an attack using biological warfare agents is becoming an ever increasing concern. Targets such as highly populated areas and food stocks are at high risk due to the current inefficiency in detecting bacteria. A method that can achieve this will be a transferable asset to the food and health and safety industry. This study uses Stable Isotope and Trace Element (SITE) analysis to differentiate between bacteria B. subtilis and B. cereus. This will also aid in the identification of the production method and determine the geographical origin of the bacterium. The study used Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) to create inorganic fingerprints of the samples in conjunction with Elemental Analyser-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (EA-IRMS) analysis of the isotopes δ13C, δ14N and δ2H to achieve this.

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