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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Dec;32(12):1571-8. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-1912-y. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Identification of Enterobacteriaceae by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry using the VITEK MS system.

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Department of Clinical Pathology, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue/LL1-2, Cleveland, OH, 44195, USA,


This multicenter study evaluated the accuracy of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry identifications from the VITEK MS system (bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France) for Enterobacteriaceae typically encountered in the clinical laboratory. Enterobacteriaceae isolates (n = 965) representing 17 genera and 40 species were analyzed on the VITEK MS system (database v2.0), in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Colony growth (≤72 h) was applied directly to the target slide. Matrix solution (α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid) was added and allowed to dry before mass spectrometry analysis. On the basis of the confidence level, the VITEK MS system provided a species, genus only, or no identification for each isolate. The accuracy of the mass spectrometric identification was compared to 16S rRNA gene sequencing performed at MIDI Labs (Newark, DE). Supplemental phenotypic testing was performed at bioMérieux when necessary. The VITEK MS result agreed with the reference method identification for 96.7% of the 965 isolates tested, with 83.8% correct to the species level and 12.8% limited to a genus-level identification. There was no identification for 1.7% of the isolates. The VITEK MS system misidentified 7 isolates (0.7 %) as different genera. Three Pantoea agglomerans isolates were misidentified as Enterobacter spp. and single isolates of Enterobacter cancerogenus, Escherichia hermannii, Hafnia alvei, and Raoultella ornithinolytica were misidentified as Klebsiella oxytoca, Citrobacter koseri, Obesumbacterium proteus, and Enterobacter aerogenes, respectively. Eight isolates (0.8 %) were misidentified as a different species in the correct genus. The VITEK MS system provides reliable mass spectrometric identifications for Enterobacteriaceae.

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