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J Hosp Infect. 1991 Mar;17(3):187-95.

Rapid inter-strain comparison by pyrolysis mass spectrometry in nosocomial infection with Xanthomonas maltophilia.

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Department of Microbiology, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne.


Seventeen strains of Xanthomonas maltophilia and one strain of Pseudomonas cepacia were examined by pyrolysis mass spectrometry (PYMS). The Xanthomonas strains comprised 11 clinical and environmental isolates from a suspected outbreak of colonization and infection on a heart-lung transplant intensive care unit, two strains from patients elsewhere in the same hospital and four strains from a national reference collection. The single isolate of Pseudomonas cepacia was from a sink in the same affected intensive care unit. A series of discriminant analyses performed on the PYMS-derived data showed that, whereas six strains of Xanthomonas from the respiratory tract, blood and ventilatory equipment of one of the affected patients were indistinguishable, all the other isolates were distinct. The results of PYMS rapid inter-strain comparison were in accord with those of an epidemiological investigation which suggested that the episode was due to unauthorized reuse of disposable nebulizers and not to cross-infection between patients. Pyrolysis mass spectrometry with rapid data analysis is a potentially useful technique for the investigation of nosocomial infections due to organisms such as X. maltophilia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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