Accurate and timely identification of anaerobic bacteria is critical to successful treatment. Classic phenotypic methods for identification require long turnaround times and can exhibit poor species level identification. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is an identification method that can provide rapid identification of anaerobes. We present a multi-centre study assessing the clinical performance of the VITEK® MS in the identification of anaerobic bacteria. Five different test sites analysed a collection of 651 unique anaerobic isolates comprising 11 different genera. Multiple species were included for several of the genera. Briefly, anaerobic isolates were applied directly to a well of a target plate. Matrix solution (α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid) was added and allowed to dry. Mass spectra results were generated with the VITEK® MS, and the comparative spectral analysis and organism identification were determined using the VITEK® MS database 2.0. Results were confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Of the 651 isolates analysed, 91.2% (594/651) exhibited the correct species identification. An additional eight isolates were correctly identified to genus level, raising the rate of identification to 92.5%. Genus-level identification consisted of Actinomyces, Bacteroides and Prevotella species. Fusobacterium nucleatum, Actinomyces neuii and Bacteroides uniformis were notable for an increased percentage of no-identification results compared with the other anaerobes tested. VITEK® MS identification of clinically relevant anaerobes is highly accurate and represents a dramatic improvement over other phenotypic methods in accuracy and turnaround time.
- Bacterial identification
- Clinical microbiology
- Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry