MALDI-TOF MS and Filamentous Fungal Identification: A Success Story?

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The diagnosis of invasive fungal disease remains challenging in the clinical laboratory. In this paper, the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the identification of filamentous fungi as well as its application for antifungal resistance testing and strain typing is evaluated.

Recent Findings

Most studies report very high accuracy for the identification of filamentous fungi by MALDI-TOF MS. Its cost effectiveness, short analysis time, and low error rate and the fact that it can also discriminate between closely related and cryptic species make it appropriate for implementation in the clinical routine. Two drawbacks remain in the availability of extended reference spectra databases and the fact that this technique can only be applied on isolates.

Summary

More work on (simultaneous) antifungal susceptibility testing and strain typing is needed. The application of MALDI-TOF MS directly on clinical specimens would further improve the diagnosis of invasive fungal disease and improve its successful management.

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Correspondence to Marijke Hendrickx.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Advances in Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Infections

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Hendrickx, M. MALDI-TOF MS and Filamentous Fungal Identification: A Success Story?. Curr Fungal Infect Rep 11, 60–65 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12281-017-0277-6

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Keywords

  • MALDI-TOF MS
  • Filamentous fungi
  • Invasive fungal disease
  • Identification
  • Antifungal resistance