This proposal requests funds for an Ibis T6000 Biosensor System that incorporates broad-range PCR followed by electrospray ionization time-of-flight (ESI-TOF) mass spectrometric analysis to determine the precise base composition of the PCR amplicons. The Ibis T6000 System then uses a proprietary software package with an extensive genomic database to permit high throughput, rapid and sensitive identification of microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi) in original, complex human or animal specimens including respiratory secretions and feces. The platform can be customized making it highly adaptable to individual research projects and it is the only microbe discovery method available that permits potential organism identification to the species level. Most recently, this system was used to diagnosis the first swine H1N1 2009 cases in the United States. The instrument will directly benefit 6 major user groups and 9 minor user groups, all of whom have NIH research support. The diverse research projects to be supported by the Ibis T6000 fall into 3 major categories: 1) definition of the structure of the fecal, respiratory or tissue microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease, colon and prostate cancer, progression of liver disease and transplant recipients with rejection and idiopathic lung diseases;2) detection of specific pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, nosocomial multidrug resistant gram negative rods, influenza virus), their virulence determinants and antimicrobial resistance determinants in different clinical settings;and 3) identification of disease-causing pathogens in life-threatening, but frequently undiagnosed, illnesses in immunocompromised hosts including diffuse interstitial lung disease, diarrheal disease and septicemia. Every year Johns Hopkins Institutions directly generate about $10 billion in economic activity in the State of Maryland, a 43% increase from the $7 billion generated in 2002 and the equivalent of one of every twenty-four dollars in the state's economy today. In 2008, Johns Hopkins Institutions provided 45,000 jobs and created 700 new jobs each year since 2002. Directly and indirectly Johns Hopkins Institutions support more than 100,000 jobs in Maryland, one of every 29 in the state. In Baltimore City alone Johns Hopkins directly and indirectly supports 60,000 jobs, or 16.7 % of all City employment. This application will create one job immediately and is predicted to yield, through discovery, both retention and new academic and industry/commercial positions. In addition, this acquisition yields eight new positions to manufacture and support the Ibis T6000.
The Ibis T6000 Biosensor System will allow investigations into the contribution of microbes to a wide-range of diseases including respiratory disease in cancer and transplant patients, intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, diarrhea and colon cancer and prostate cancer. The Ibis T6000 Biosensor System will further identify virulent bacteria and viruses such as Staphylococcus aureus, hospital-associated bacteria and influenza that are associated with excess morbidity and mortality. Defining which microbes and how they contribute to these diseases will lead to new approaches to diagnosis, prevention and therapy and make a major contribution to improved public health.