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Identification of Pathogenic Bacteria from Public Libraries via Proteomics Analysis

Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston, TX 77019, USA
Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA 94566, USA
Verna & Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Advanced Technology Core, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 912;
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Microbiology and Urban Health)
PDF [8335 KB, uploaded 14 March 2019]


Hazardous organisms may thrive on surfaces that are often exposed to human contact, including children’s library books. In this study, swab samples were taken from 42 children’s books collected from four public libraries in Texas and California. Samples were then cultivated in brain–heart infusion (BHI) medium and then in Luria broth (LB) medium containing either ampicillin or kanamycin. All 42 samples (100%) were positive for bacterial growth in normal BHI medium. Furthermore, 35 samples (83.3%) and 20 samples (47.6%) in total were positive in LB medium containing ampicillin or kanamycin, respectively. Bacterial populations were then identified in samples using an Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid ™ mass spectrometer, a state-of-the-art proteomic analysis tool. Identified bacterial species grown in ampicillin included Bacillus, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Serratia, Streptococcus, Escherichia, Salmonella, and Enterococcus. In contrast, identified bacteria grown in kanamycin included Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, and Bacillus. The presences of pathogenic bacteria species were also confirmed. The results of this study warrant follow up studies to assess the potential health risks of identified pathogens. This study demonstrates the utility of proteomics in identifying environmental pathogenic bacteria for specific public health risk evaluations. View Full-Text
Keywords: pathogenic bacteria; proteomics analysis; library books; environmental risk pathogenic bacteria; proteomics analysis; library books; environmental risk

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Jung, R.H.; Kim, M.; Bhatt, B.; Choi, J.M.; Roh, J.H. Identification of Pathogenic Bacteria from Public Libraries via Proteomics Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 912.

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