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Improvement of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Identification of Clinically Important Candida Species by Shuangfeng Yang, Ying Jin, Guoping Zhao, Jin Liu, Xin Zhou, Jianjia Yang, Junfang Wang, Yuntao Cui, Xiao Hu, Yaxiao Li

Background: Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) is emerging as a rapid and accurate tool for identifying pathogens. MALDI-TOF identification of Candida at the species level remains unsatisfactory because of an incomplete commercial database.
Methods: Using Bruker Daltonics MALDI Biotyper software, an in-house spectral database library was created with m/z ratios of 2,000 to 20,000 Da from 60 successfully identified clinical isolates of Candida spp. (6 species). It was incorporated into the original database to produce the augmented Bruker-Tianjin database. The augmented database was tested with 347 clinical isolates of 6 species comparing with Bruker database in parallel.
Results: The identification rates at the species level were 91.6% (318/347) using the Bruker database and 99.1% (344/347) for the Bruker-Tianjin database.
Conclusions: Database expansion and refinement can easily and effectively improve MALDI-TOF MS performance for enhanced clinical pathogen identification.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2013.121129