Author(s): La Scola B, Raoult D
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Abstract BACKGROUND: With long delays observed between sampling and availability of results, the usefulness of blood cultures in the context of emergency infectious diseases has recently been questioned. Among methods that allow quicker bacterial identification from growing colonies, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry was demonstrated to accurately identify bacteria routinely isolated in a clinical biology laboratory. In order to speed up the identification process, in the present work we attempted bacterial identification directly from blood culture bottles detected positive by the automate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We prospectively analysed routine MALDI-TOF identification of bacteria detected in blood culture by two different protocols involving successive centrifugations and then lysis by trifluoroacetic acid or formic acid. Of the 562 blood culture broths detected as positive by the automate and containing one bacterial species, 370 (66\%) were correctly identified. Changing the protocol from trifluoroacetic acid to formic acid improved identification of Staphylococci, and overall correct identification increased from 59\% to 76\%. Lack of identification was observed mostly with viridans streptococci, and only one false positive was observed. In the 22 positive blood culture broths that contained two or more different species, only one of the species was identified in 18 samples, no species were identified in two samples and false species identifications were obtained in two cases. The positive predictive value of bacterial identification using this procedure was 99.2\%. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: MALDI-TOF MS is an efficient method for direct routine identification of bacterial isolates in blood culture, with the exception of polymicrobial samples and viridans streptococci. It may replace routine identification performed on colonies, provided improvement for the specificity of blood culture broths growing viridans streptococci is obtained in the near future.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access