Author(s): Stevenson LG, Drake SK, Murray PR
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Abstract Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry is a rapid, accurate method for identifying bacteria and fungi recovered on agar culture media. We report herein a method for the direct identification of bacteria in positive blood culture broths by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. A total of 212 positive cultures were examined, representing 32 genera and 60 species or groups. The identification of bacterial isolates by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry was compared with biochemical testing, and discrepancies were resolved by gene sequencing. No identification (spectral score of < 1.7) was obtained for 42 (19.8\%) of the isolates, due most commonly to insufficient numbers of bacteria in the blood culture broth. Of the bacteria with a spectral score of > or = 1.7, 162 (95.3\%) of 170 isolates were correctly identified. All 8 isolates of Streptococcus mitis were misidentified as being Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates. This method provides a rapid, accurate, definitive identification of bacteria within 1 h of detection in positive blood cultures with the caveat that the identification of S. pneumoniae would have to be confirmed by an alternative test.
This article was published in J Clin Microbiol
and referenced in Mass Spectrometry & Purification Techniques