Evaluation of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for identifying Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia thailandensis isolates

  • Jin Li
  • Weiwei Hu
  • Fengling Zhang
  • Min Li
  • Chenglong Rao
  • Weiping LuEmail author
Original Article


Since Burkholderia thailandensis is included in the reference spectra of the VITEK MS libraries rather than Burkholderia pseudomallei, B. pseudomallei cannot be correctly identified in the current version of VITEK MS. This study was undertaken to evaluate the utility of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) with the VITEK MS plus system in the detection of B. pseudomallei and B. thailandensis isolates. For each species, we increased the reference spectra, and then, a SuperSpectrum was created based on the selection of 39 specific masses. In a second step, we validated the SuperSpectra with 106 isolates identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The results showed that there was 100% agreement between the validation strains analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS and those evaluated using 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis methods. Therefore, MALDI-TOF MS is a promising, rapid, and economical method to monitor the outbreaks and spread of B. pseudomallei and B. thailandensis isolates.


Burkholderia pseudomallei Burkholderia thailandensis Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis SuperSpectra 

Supplementary material

10096_2018_3415_MOESM1_ESM.docx (520 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 519 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping HospitalArmy Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineThe first affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medical Laboratory ScienceArmy Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China

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