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Direct Identification of Bacteria in Blood Culture by MALDI TOF Mass Spec

A recent publication highlights the use of MALDI TOF Mass Spectrometry for the identification of microbial contaminants to blood cultures. The full reference and abstract are provided below.

Direct identification of bacteria in blood culture by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry: a new methodological approach. Kroumova V, Gobbato E, Basso E, Mucedola L, Giani T, Fortina G. Laboratory of Microbiology and Virology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria 'Maggiore della Carità', Corso Mazzini 18, Novara, 28100, Italy. In Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2011 Aug 15;25(15):2247-9.


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has recently been demonstrated to be a powerful tool for the rapid identification of bacteria from growing colonies. In order to speed up the identification of bacteria, several authors have evaluated the usefulness of this MALDI-TOF MS technology for the direct and quick identification bacteria from positive blood cultures. The results obtained so far have been encouraging but have also shown some limitations, mainly related to the bacterial growth and to the presence of interference substances belonging to the blood cultures. In this paper, we present a new methodological approach that we have developed to overcome these limitations, based mainly on an enrichment of the sample into a growing medium before the extraction process, prior to mass spectrometric analysis. The proposed method shows important advantages for the identification of bacterial strains, yielding an increased identification score, which gives higher confidence in the results.

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