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Performance of matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight mass spectrometry for identification of clinical yeast isolates


F. S. Rosenvinge, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Odense University Hospital, J. B. Winsløwsvej 21, 2, 5000 Odense, Denmark.
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Accurate and fast yeast identification is important when treating patients with invasive fungal disease as susceptibility to antifungal agents is highly species related. Matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) provides a powerful tool with a clear potential to improve current diagnostic practice. Two MALDI-TOF-MS-systems (BioTyper/Bruker and Saramis/AXIMA) were evaluated using: (i) A collection of 102 archived, well characterised yeast isolates representing 14 different species and (ii) Prospectively collected isolates obtained from clinical samples at two participating laboratories. Of the 102 archived isolates, 81 (79%) and 92 (90%) were correctly identified by Saramis/AXIMA and BioTyper/Bruker respectively. Saramis/AXIMA was unable to separate Candida albicans, C. africana and C. dubliniensis in 13 of 32 isolates. After manual interpretation of the mass spectra output, all 13 isolates were correctly identified, resulting in an overall identification performance of 92%. No misidentifications occurred with the two systems. Of the routine isolates one laboratory identified 99/99 (100%) and 90/99 (91%) to species level by Saramis/Axima and conventional identification, respectively, whereas the other laboratory identified 83/98 (85%) to species level by both BioTyper/Bruker and conventional identification. Both MALDI-TOF-MS systems are fast, have built-in databases that cover the majority of clinically relevant Candida species, and have an accuracy that outperforms our conventional identification systems.