MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for the identification of biofilms

MALDI-TOF showed to be a good technique to properly identify bacteria in biofilm samples

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Bacterial biofilms are the cause of 65% of microbial and 80% of all chronic infections (The National Institutes of Health, NIH), annually affecting millions of people in the developed world, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. 

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) is recognized as a strong tool for microbial identification. The protein profiles of the bacterial samples are obtained from intact cells or cell extracts and are matched to a database of reference mass spectra for rapid identification.  

Annie Gaudreau and colleagues verified if MALDI-TOF could also be applied in bacterial biofilms. Their results were promising, demonstrating that, in more than 70% of the biofilms tested, the bacteria were correctly identified.

The situations where the bacterial biofilms are involved frequently result in difficulties in the treatment due to high resistance to antibiotics and progress into a chronic state. The results of this work are clinically relevant, since this method will allow a faster and accurate identification of pathogens of chronic diseases and, therefore, a more appropriate treatment.

Abstract

We evaluated MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to identify bacteria from biofilms. We compared three sample preparation procedures on biofilms grown in vitro. The extended direct transfer method was able to identify 13 isolates out of 18 (72%) at the species level and 15 out of 18 (83%) at the genus level. 

Highlights 

  • Biofilms represent an important medical problem.
  • We evaluated the potential of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to identify bacteria from biofilms.
  • We compared three sample preparation procedures.
  • The extended direct transfer method seems appropriate to identify bacteria from biofilms.

Reference: A.M. Gaudreau, J. Labrie, C. Goetz, S. Dufour, M. Jacques. Evaluation of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for the identification of bacteria growing as biofilms. Mimet (2017).

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2018.01.003

 

Go to the profile of Celia Fortuna Rodrigues

Celia Fortuna Rodrigues

PharmD, PhD , University of Minho

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