Performance of MALDI-TOF MS for the Identification of Gram-negative Bacteria Grown on Eosin Methylene Blue (EMB) Agar: A Simple Method for Improving the Effectiveness of Identification


MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, cilt.53, ss.1-11, 2019 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 53 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Doi Numarası: 10.5578/mb.67523
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.1-11


Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a new method that is increasingly used in microbiology laboratories due to its ability of reliable and rapid identification (ID) of bacteria and fungi. However, some problems emerge in the routine clinical diagnosis since only one gram-negative selective medium has been suggested up to date. Though EMB agar is one of the traditional gram-negative selective media, there is no data in the scientific literature, about the ID performance of MALDI TOF MS with the gram-negative bacteria grown on this medium. In this study, we tested the ID performance of MALDI-TOF MS for gram-negative isolates on EMB agar and aimed to develop a rapid and easy sample preparation method for improving this performance. A total of 468 clinical isolates of gram-negative bacteria, consisting of 37 different species from 20 genera, were included in this study. The isolates were identified using the Vitek MS MALDI-TOF MS (Bio Merieux, France) both directly from EMB agar, and also through a two-step colony washing (once with physiologic saline, and three times with 70% ethanol) method. The performances of these two IDs were compared. In the direct reading from EMB medium, 382 (81.6%) of 468 studied isolates were correctly identified at species level; no ID was detected for 80 (17%) isolates, and 6 (1.2%) isolates (four at the genus level) were misidentified Performance of MALDI-TOF MS directly from EMB agar was excellent (100%) for 14 species including Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Klebsiella oxytoca, Salmonella spp., and Proteus mirabilis; and lowest for Providencia spp. (62.5%), Escherichia coil (70.5%) and Acinetobacter spp. (70.7%). Following the washing procedure which was performed about 20 min with simple laboratory equipment, 434 (92.7%) isolates were correctly identified at species level; 30 (6.4%) strains could not be identified, and four (0.85%) isolates (two at the genus level) were misidentified. Statistical analyses indicated that the washing procedure defined here significantly increased the overall ID performance of MALDI-TOF MS with EMB agar (p= 0.001), particularly with improving the IDs of those markedly dye-absorbing genera, such as E.coli and A.baumannii. In this study, EMB agar which has no data until today on its suitability for mass spectrometric identification has been shown to be useful for bacterial identification with MALDI-TOF MS. In addition, the unidentified gram-negative bacteria in the direct reading from the EMB medium have been shown to be identified after the colony washing method as described here. Determination of the different medium alternatives will contribute to effective usage of MALDI-TOF MS in microbiology laboratories.