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Fields & Applications Mass Spectrometry, Clinical

Stamping Out Staph

Notorious superbug MRSA may have had its media heyday some years ago, but Staphylococcus aureus infections still cause about 20,000 deaths in the US each year. How can we reduce this number? Understanding infection-related abscess formation and host responses is key – so Elizabeth Neumann and colleagues set out to do just that by applying a combination of imaging, MALDI-MS, and codetection by indexing (CODEX) multiplexed immunofluorescence microscopy to tissue samples from infected patients.

“MALDI-MS provides information for hundreds to thousands of discrete molecules within a biological system,” says Elizabeth. “This information is sometimes difficult to relate to known cell types or tissue functional units, complicating data analysis and integration. CODEX immunofluorescence and other multiplexed immunofluorescence microscopy approaches are inherently targeted and allow us to fluorescently stain cell-defining proteins.” Correlating these two techniques is thus useful for connecting the molecular information obtained from MALDI-MS with well-defined tissue structures.

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About the Author

Matthew Hallam

I've always wanted a career in which I could practice my creativity, even when I worked on the assembly line in a fish factory. At one time, I channeled this need into dance, drawing, poetry and fiction, and I still do most of these things. But, following completion of my MSc(Res) in Translational Oncology and time working in labs and as a Medical Writer for major pharmaceutical companies, I'm happy to find myself in a career that allows me to combine my creative side with my scientific mind as the Editor of The Analytical Scientist.

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