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Vet Microbiol. 2014 Sep 17;173(1-2):147-51. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.06.028. Epub 2014 Jul 7.

Identification of Corynebacterium spp. isolated from bovine intramammary infections by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry.

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Department of Animal Science, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (USP), Pirassununga, SP, Brazil.
ThoMSon MS Laboratory, Institute of Chemistry, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil.
Institute of Biosciences, State University of São Paulo "Júlio de Mesquita" (UNESP), Botucatu, SP, Brazil.
Department of Animal Science, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (USP), Pirassununga, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:


Corynebacterium species (spp.) are among the most frequently isolated pathogens associated with subclinical mastitis in dairy cows. However, simple, fast, and reliable methods for the identification of species of the genus Corynebacterium are not currently available. This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for identifying Corynebacterium spp. isolated from the mammary glands of dairy cows. Corynebacterium spp. were isolated from milk samples via microbiological culture (n=180) and were analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Using MALDI-TOF MS methodology, 161 Corynebacterium spp. isolates (89.4%) were correctly identified at the species level, whereas 12 isolates (6.7%) were identified at the genus level. Most isolates that were identified at the species level with 16 S rRNA gene sequencing were identified as Corynebacterium bovis (n=156; 86.7%) were also identified as C. bovis with MALDI-TOF MS. Five Corynebacterium spp. isolates (2.8%) were not correctly identified at the species level with MALDI-TOF MS and 2 isolates (1.1%) were considered unidentified because despite having MALDI-TOF MS scores >2, only the genus level was correctly identified. Therefore, MALDI-TOF MS could serve as an alternative method for species-level diagnoses of bovine intramammary infections caused by Corynebacterium spp.


Corynebacterium spp.; Mass spectrometry; Subclinical mastitis

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