Micro-Raman spectroscopy study of optically trapped erythrocytes in malaria, dengue and leptospirosis infections

Sanu Susan Jacob, Jijo Lukose, Aseefhali Bankapur, N. Mithun, R. Vani Lakshmi, Mahendra Acharya, Pragna Rao, Asha Kamath, Prathap M. Baby, Raghavendra K. Rao, Santhosh Chidangil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria, dengue and leptospirosis are three tropical infectious diseases that present with severe hematological derangement causing significant morbidity and mortality, especially during the seasonal monsoons. During the course of these infectious diseases, circulating red blood cells are imperiled to the direct ill-effects of the infectious pathogen in the body as well as to the pro-inflammatory cytokines generated as a consequence of the infection. RBCs when exposed to such inflammatory and/or pathogenic milieu are susceptible to injuries such as RBC programmed eryptosis or RBC programmed necrosis. This research aimed to explore the Raman spectra of live red cells that were extracted from patients infected with malaria, dengue, and leptospirosis. Red cells were optically trapped and micro-Raman probed using a 785 nm Diode laser. RBCs from samples of all three diseases displayed Raman signatures that were significantly altered from the normal/healthy. Distinct spectral markers that were common across all the four groups were obtained from various standardized multivariate analytical methods. Following comprehensive examination of multiple studies, we propose these spectral wavenumbers as “Raman markers of RBC injury.” Findings in our study display that anemia-triggering infections can inflict variations in the healthy status of red cells, easily identifiable by selectively analyzing specific Raman markers. Additionally, this study also highlights relevant statistical tools that can be utilized to study Raman spectral data from biological samples which could help identify the very significant Raman peaks from the spectral band. This approach of RBC analysis can foster a better understanding of red cell behavior and their alterations exhibited in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number858776
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 06-10-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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