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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2010 Feb;24(3):384-92. doi: 10.1002/rcm.4404.

A quick and easy method to identify bacteria by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

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IPL Bretagne, 4 rue de Galilée, 56270 Ploemeur, France.


Concerns with water quality have increased in recent years, in part due to the more frequent contamination of water by pathogens like E. coli and L. pneumophila. Current methods for the typing of bacteria in water samples are based on culture of samples on specific media. These techniques are time-consuming, subject to the impact of interferents and do not totally meet all the requirements of prevention. There is a need for accurate and rapid identification of these microorganisms. This report deals with the detection of bacteria, more precisely of Legionella spp., and the development of an analytical strategy for a rapid and unambiguous identification of these pathogens in water from diverse origins. Therefore, a protein mass mapping using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) of whole bacteria combined with a home-made database of bacteria spectra is applied. A large variety of different bacteria and microorganisms is used to approach the actual composition of samples with numerous interferents. The objective is to propose a universal method for sampling preparation before MALDI MS analysis and optimised spectrometric conditions for reproducible intense peaks. Several experimental factors known to influence signal quality such as time and media of culture have been studied. The proposed method gives promising results for a sure differentiation of Legionella species and subspecies and a rapid identification of bacteria which are the most dangerous or difficult to eradicate. This method is easy to perform with an excellent reproducibility. The analytical protocol and the corresponding database were validated on samples from different origins (cooling tower, plumbing hot water).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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