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Performance of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry for identification of bacterial strains routinely isolated in a clinical microbiology laboratory.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
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Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has recently been introduced in diagnostic microbiology laboratories for the identification of bacterial and yeast strains isolated from clinical samples. In the present study, we prospectively compared MALDI-TOF MS to the conventional phenotypic method for the identification of routine isolates. Colonies were analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS either by direct deposition on the target plate or after a formic acid-acetonitrile extraction step if no valid result was initially obtained. Among 1,371 isolates identified by conventional methods, 1,278 (93.2%) were putatively identified to the species level by MALDI-TOF MS and 73 (5.3%) were identified to the genus level, but no reliable identification was obtained for 20 (1.5%). Among the 1,278 isolates identified to the species level by MALDI-TOF MS, 63 (4.9%) discordant results were initially identified. Most discordant results (42/63) were due to systematic database-related taxonomical differences, 14 were explained by poor discrimination of the MALDI-TOF MS spectra obtained, and 7 were due to errors in the initial conventional identification. An extraction step was required to obtain a valid MALDI-TOF MS identification for 25.6% of the 1,278 valid isolates. In conclusion, our results show that MALDI-TOF MS is a fast and reliable technique which has the potential to replace conventional phenotypic identification for most bacterial strains routinely isolated in clinical microbiology laboratories.
Species Identification, Rapid Discrimination, Escherichia-Coli, Nov
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