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Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation–time of flight mass spectrometry for rapid identification of Laribacter hongkongensis


Laribacter hongkongensis is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, motile, S-shaped, urease-positive bacillus associated with invasive infections in liver cirrhosis patients and community-acquired gastroenteritis. Most cases of L hongkongensis infections occur in eastern countries. Information is lacking on the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI–TOF MS) for the identification of bacteria important in eastern countries. Using the Bruker database extended with 21 L hongkongensis reference strains, all 240 L hongkongensis isolates recovered from patients, fish, frogs and water were correctly identified, with 224 (93.3%) strains having top match scores ≥2.0. Notably, the strain of Chromobacterium violaceum was not reliably identified although it is included in the database. MALDI–TOF MS is useful for the accurate routine identification of L hongkongensis after adding reference L hongkongensis main spectra to the database. The number of strains for each species in MALDI–TOF MS databases should be expanded to cover intraspecies variability.


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