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Application and Validation of Fourier Transform-Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy Method to Characterize Moraxella sp. Isolated from Cattle.

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Miller S, Loy JD (2020). Application and validation of Fourier Transform-Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy method to characterize Moraxella sp. isolated from cattle. (Undergraduate Research Poster). University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), also known as “pinkeye,” is a highly significant ocular disease of cattle. Resulting in substantial economic losses each year, IBK is caused by the bacteria Moraxella bovis. However, Moraxella bovoculi is frequently cultured during outbreaks and is suspected of contributing to the disease. M. bovoculi has an extensive amount of genotypic diversity for its outer membrane pilin, a known virulence factor.Previous techniques used to identify Moraxella species were complex, time-consuming, and expensive making the identification of specific infectious agents difficult. Fourier transformed-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) is an emerging technology being applied to pathogen characterization and can identify bacteria and characterize their membrane protein phenotypes. FT-IR is a faster and less expensive analysis than previously used methods.This project evaluated the use of and validated FT-IR spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool to identify Moraxella sp. on a species, subspecies, and sub-cluster level. FT-IR was able to distinguish clusters of M. bovis, M. bovoculi Genotype 2, and M. bovoculi Genotype 1 using hierarchal cluster analysis. However, clustering of M. bovoculi Genotype 1 into its four subtypes has not yet been identified. Spectra generated by FT-IR showed differences between clustering groups. Correct clustering indicates potential application of FT-IR as a diagnostic tool to identify Moraxella isolates to the species and subspecies level. Further analysis including larger numbers of isolates and replication is needed to confirm the results and to determine if isolates can be identified to a sub-cluster level for M. bovoculi Genotype 1.

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