Recent advances in antibiotic resistance diagnosis using SERS: focus on the "big 5" challenges

Waleed Hassanain, Christopher L. Johnson, Karen Faulds (She/Her), Duncan Graham, Neil Keegan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Antibiotic resistant bacteria constitute a global health threat. It is essential for healthcare professionals to prescribe the correct dose of an effective antibiotic to mitigate the bacterial infection in a timely manner to improve the therapeutic outcomes to the patient and prevent the dissemination of antibiotic resistance. To achieve this, there is a need to implement a rapid and ultra-sensitive clinical diagnosis to identify resistant bacterial strains and monitor the effect of antibiotics. In this review, we highlight the use of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as a powerful diagnostic technique for bacterial detection and evaluation. Initially, this is viewed through a lens covering why SERS can surpass other traditional techniques for bacterial diagnosis. This is followed by different SERS substrates design, detection strategies that have been used for various bacterial biomarkers, how SERS can be combined with other diagnostic platforms to improve its performance towards the bacterial detection and the application of SERS for antibiotic resistance diagnosis. Finally, the recent progress in SERS detection methods in the last decade for the "Big 5" antibiotic resistant challenges as demonstrators of public health major threats is reviewed, namely: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) / Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Neisseria Gonorrhoea (NG). This review provides a comprehensive view of the current state of the art with regard to using SERS for assessing antibiotic resistance with a future outlook on where the field go head in the coming years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4674-4700
Number of pages27
Issue number21
Early online date13 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2022


  • antibiotic resistance
  • antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • diagnosis
  • surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)
  • "Big 5" antibiotic resistant challenges


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