Microbial metabolomics and chemical marker analysis
We study signature biomarkers of microorganisms in clinical and environmental samples by using mass spectrometry. Microbial communities are characterized by extracellular microbial metabolites such as volatile organic compounds, D-arabinitol, and mycotoxins, as well as cellular constituents such as certain 3-hydroxy fatty acids (markers of endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides, LPS)), muramic acid (marker of peptidoglycan), and ergosterol (marker of fungal biomass).
Methods are applied in research on indoor air quality in relation to adverse health effects, tobacco smoke (a bioaerosol!), disseminated fungal infections, peridontitis, some chronic inflammatory diseases etc. Our laboratory is well-equipped with ion-trap and triple-quadrupole gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) instrumentation. We have extensive national and international collaborations.