Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) MS for the Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases
Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) MS, first introduced into clinical microbiology laboratories in Europe, is being rapidly embraced by laboratories around the globe. MALDI-TOF MS is used as a tool for rapid, accurate, and cost-effective identification of cultured bacteria and fungi in clinical microbiology.
Robin Patel, M.D., recently reviewed MALDI-TOF MS in Clinical Chemistry, providing a historical perspective on this new technology. In her review. Dr. Patel analyzes modern applications in the clinical microbiology laboratory. She also discusses aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, mycobacteria, and fungi, in addition to applications for testing urine samples and positive blood culture bottles. The strengths and limitations of MALDI-TOF MS applications in clinical microbiology are also identified.
According to the paper, MALDI-TOF MS technology is enabling adoption of total laboratory automation in clinical microbiology laboratories, featuring automated sample processing, plating, incubation, plate reading using digital imaging, and spotting to MALDI-TOF MS plates. A beneficial technology for the clinical microbiology laboratory, MALDI-TOF MS is applicable to a broad range of common as well as esoteric bacteria and fungi.