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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Jul;16(7):998-1004. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.03036.x. Epub 2009 Sep 3.

Identification of clinical coagulase-negative staphylococci, isolated in microbiology laboratories, by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and two automated systems.

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Hopital Raymond Poincaré, Garches, France.


A study was performed to compare matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), linked to a recently engineered microbial identification database, and two rapid identification (ID) automated systems, BD Phoenix (Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Systems, France) and VITEK-2 (bioMérieux, Marcy L'Etoile, France), for the ID of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS). Two hundred and thirty-four clinical isolates of CoNS representing 20 species were analyzed. All CoNS isolates were characterized by sodA gene sequencing, allowing interpretation of the ID results obtained using the respective database of each apparatus. Overall correct ID results were obtained in 93.2%, 75.6% and 75.2% of the cases with the MALDI-TOF-MS, Phoenix and VITEK-2 systems, respectively. Mis-ID and absence of results occurred in 1.7% and 5.1% of the cases with MALDI-TOF-MS, in 23.1% and 1.3% with the Phoenix, and in 13.7% and 0.9% with the VITEK-2 systems, respectively. In addition, with the latter automate, 10.3% of the IDs were proposed with remote possibility. When excluding the CoNS species not included in the databases of at least one of the three systems, the final percentage of correct results, Mis-ID and absence of ID were 97.4%, 1.3% and 1.3% with MALDI-TOF-MS, 79%, 21% and 0% with the Phoenix, and 78.6%, 10.3% and 0.9% with the VITEK-2 system, respectively. The present study demonstrates the robustness and high sensitivity of our microbial identification database used with MALDI-TOF-MS technology. This approach represents a powerful tool for the fast ID of clinical CoNS isolates.

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