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Comparative evaluation of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometry and conventional phenotypic-based methods for identification of clinically important yeasts in a UK-based medical microbiology laboratory
  1. Nita Fatania1,
  2. Mark Fraser2,
  3. Mike Savage3,
  4. Jason Hart1,
  5. Alireza Abdolrasouli1,4
  1. 1Department of Medical Microbiology, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2Mycology Reference Laboratory, Public Health England, Bristol, UK
  3. 3Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  4. 4Fungal Immunobiology Group, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Jason Hart, Department of Medical Microbiology, 4th Floor, East Wing, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RP, UK; Jason.Hart{at}imperial.nhs.uk

Abstract

Aims Performance of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was compared in a side-by side-analysis with conventional phenotypic methods currently in use in our laboratory for identification of yeasts in a routine diagnostic setting.

Methods A diverse collection of 200 clinically important yeasts (19 species, five genera) were identified by both methods using standard protocols. Discordant or unreliable identifications were resolved by sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer region of the rRNA gene.

Results MALDI-TOF and conventional methods were in agreement for 182 isolates (91%) with correct identification to species level. Eighteen discordant results (9%) were due to rarely encountered species, hence the difficulty in their identification using traditional phenotypic methods.

Conclusions MALDI-TOF MS enabled rapid, reliable and accurate identification of clinically important yeasts in a routine diagnostic microbiology laboratory. Isolates with rare, unusual or low probability identifications should be confirmed using robust molecular methods.

  • YEAST
  • MYCOLOGY
  • MICROBIOLOGY
  • AUTOMATION
  • LABORATORY TESTS

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