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Clin Lab Med. 2013 Sep;33(3):611-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2013.03.013.

Beyond identification: emerging and future uses for MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in the clinical microbiology laboratory.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada.


The routine use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has revolutionized microorganism identification in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Building from these now common microorganism identification strategies, this review explores future clinical applications of MALDI-TOF MS. This includes practical approaches for laboratorians interested in implementing direct identification processing methods for MALDI-TOF detection of microbes in bloodstream infection (BSI) and urinary tract infection (UTI), as well as, post-analytical approaches for classifying MALDI-TOF spectral data to detect characteristics other and species-level identification (e.g. strain-level classification, typing, and resistance mechanisms).


Antimicrobial susceptibility testing; Bacteremia; Bloodstream infection; Direct identification; MALDI-TOF; Machine learning; Mass spectrometry; Urinary tract infection

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