Published on: December 28, 2022

AI for Bacterial pathogens

AI for Bacterial pathogens

Why in news? Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have worked with a combination of Raman spectroscopy and AI for quicker identification of bacterial pathogens in different types of clinical samples


  • it is an efficient, cost-effective method of identifying the causative bacteria
  • It could help clinicians treat symptoms of infectious diseases with greater precision
  • Current gold-standard tests are either time-consuming like culture tests or work only with specific types of samples

How does this combination works?

  • In Raman microspectroscopy, an optical microscope is used to flash a laser beam on the sample.
  • The unique spectrum from the light scattered by the bacterium helps in its individual identification.
  • The AI component expands the scope of the analysis, to include accurate classification of complex data sets and ensure that even subtle differences among the spectra are tracked.
  • While conventional methods of identifying the bacterium that involve culturing take 24 to 48 hours, the spectroscopy-AI combination does it in significantly less time.
  • The combination of Raman spectroscopy and AI could be used to detect Covid biomarkers in blood sample
  • The work won the Challenger Award at the NASSCOM AI Game Changer Awards programme in 2021.

What is ResNet?

  • It is a residual network, a deep transfer learning model was used to extract spectral features of eight pathogenic bacterial species, with a 99% classification accuracy.
  • The model was also validated on blinded data sets a mix of cultured and non-cultured samples of various origins and types.
  • The deep transfer learning approach involves a data augmentation method it increases the volume of spectra that are needed for the analysis.
  • The accuracy is based on limited clinical data, analysed in a laboratory setting.

What is Biomarker ?

  • It is a measurable indicator of some biological state or condition.
  • They are often measured and evaluated using blood, urine, or soft tissues to examine normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.
  • Various types of molecules, such as DNA (genes), proteins or hormones, can serve as biomarkers

The three main classes

  • Molecular biomarkers, cellular biomarkers or imaging biomarkers.
  • All three types of biomarkers have a clinical role in narrowing or guiding treatment decisions and follow a sub-categorization of being either predictive, prognostic, or diagnostic.