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Application of MALDI-TOF MS to rapid identification of anaerobic bacteria

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Background: Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been rapidly developed and widely used as an analytical technique in clinical laboratories with high accuracy in microorganism identification. Objective: To validate the efficacy of MALDI-TOF MS in identification of clinical pathogenic anaerobes. Methods: Twenty-eight studies covering 6685 strains of anaerobic bacteria were included in this meta-analysis. Fixed-effects models based on the P-value and the I-squared were used for meta-analysis to consider the possibility of heterogeneity between studies. Statistical analyses were performed by using STATA 12.0. Results: The identification accuracy of MALDI-TOF MS was 84% for species (I2 = 98.0%, P < 0.1), and 92% for genus (I2 = 96.6%, P < 0.1). Thereinto, the identification accuracy of Bacteroides was the highest at 96% with a 95% CI of 95-97%, followed by Lactobacillus spp., Parabacteroides spp., Clostridium spp., Propionibacterium spp., Prevotella spp., Veillonella spp. and Peptostreptococcus spp., and their correct identification rates were all above 90%, while the accuracy of rare anaerobic bacteria was relatively low. Meanwhile, the overall capabilities of two MALDI-TOF MS systems were different. The identification accuracy rate was 90% for VITEK MS vs. 86% for MALDI biotyper system. Conclusions: Our research showed that MALDI-TOF-MS was satisfactory in genus identification of clinical pathogenic anaerobic bacteria. However, this method still suffers from different drawbacks in precise identification of rare anaerobe and species levels of common anaerobic bacteria.




Li, Y., Shan, M., Zhu, Z., Mao, X., Yan, M., Chen, Y., … Gu, B. (2019). Application of MALDI-TOF MS to rapid identification of anaerobic bacteria. BMC Infectious Diseases, 19(1).

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