Identification of Mycobacterium Species by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

  • M. Neuschlova
  • M. Vladarova
  • J. Kompanikova
  • V. Sadlonova
  • E. NovakovaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1021)


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization – time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry enables to identify microorganisms by comparison of the protein content with reference spectra in the database. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of phenotypic identification of mycobacteria by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in laboratory practice. Seventy five isolates of mycobacteria were identified by molecular and phenotypic method, and the results were compared by MALDI-TOF. For MALDI-TOF, material was processed according to the Bruker Daltonics protocol and Mycobacterial Library database version 2.0, with 313 reference mycobacteria spectra. All except one of the 72 isolates agreed with regard to the species and genus by both methods. Forty three isolates were identified as the M. tuberculosis complex by MALDI-TOF. Thirty one isolates of nontuberculous mycobacteria were consistently identified by both methods to the species level. We conclude that MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is an accurate method of bacterial identification. Simplicity, speed, and economic availability of the method makes it suitable for mycobacteria identification in a routine laboratory.


Bacterial isolates Mass spectrometry Mycobacterium tuberculosis Phenotype bacterial identification Protein identification 



Supported by project KEGA 032UK-4/2015 – Modern Education for Knowledge Society of the Ministry of Education, Slovak Republic.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Neuschlova
    • 1
  • M. Vladarova
    • 2
  • J. Kompanikova
    • 1
  • V. Sadlonova
    • 1
  • E. Novakova
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in MartinComenius University in BratislavaMartinSlovakia
  2. 2.Clinical Biochemistry, Joint Stock Company, Department of Clinical MicrobiologyUniversity of ZilinaZilinaSlovakia

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