Direct bacterial identification in positive blood cultures by use of two commercial matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry systems

Jonathan H.K. Chen, Pak Leung Ho, Grace S.W. Kwan, Kevin K.K. She, Kit Hang Siu, Vincent C.C. Cheng, Kwok Yung Yuen, Wing Cheong Yam

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116 Citations (Scopus)


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the identification of bacteria and fungi was recently introduced in microbiology laboratories. This technology could greatly improve the clinical management of patients and guidance for chemotherapy. In this study, we used a commercial MALDI Sepsityper extraction method to evaluate the performance of two commercial MALDI-TOF MS systems, the Vitek MS IVD (bioMérieux) and the Microflex LT Biotyper (Bruker Daltonics) for direct bacterial identification in positive blood cultures. In 181 monomicrobial cultures, both systems generated genus to species level identifications for >90% of the specimens (Biotyper, 177/181 [97.8%]; Vitek MS IVD, 167/181 [92.3%]). Overall, the Biotyper system generated significantly more accurate identifications than the Vitek MS IVD system (P = 0.016; 177 versus 167 out of 181 specimens). The Biotyper system identified the minority species among polymicrobial blood cultures. We also compared the performance of an in-house extraction method with that of the Sepsityper on both MALDI-TOF MS systems. The in-house method generated more correct identifications at the genus level than the Sepsityper (96.7% versus 93.5%) on the Biotyper system, whereas the two methods exhibited the same performance level (88.0% versus 88.0%) on the Vitek MS IVD system. Our study confirmed the practical advantages of MALDI-TOF MS, and our in-house extraction method reduced the reagent cost to $1 per specimen, with a shorter turnaround time of 3 h, which is highly cost-effective for a diagnostic microbiology service.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1733-1739
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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