Ann Lab Med.  2017 Sep;37(5):434-437. 10.3343/alm.2017.37.5.434.

Identification of viridans streptococci With Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption & Ionization Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry by an In-house Method and a Commercially Available System

  • 1Institute for Medical Microbiology and Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital, University of Leipzig, Germany.
  • 2Rudolf-Schoenheimer-Institute for Biochemistry, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


Two matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS)-based methods were compared for their ability to identify viridans streptococci. One approach employed a reference database and software developed in-house. All inhouse measurements were performed using an Autoflex II Instrument (Bruker Daltonics GmbH, Germany). The other system, a VITEK-MS (BioMérieux, France) was operated on the commercially available V2.0 Knowledge Base for Clinical Use database. Clinical isolates of viridans streptococci (n=184) were examined. Discrepant results were resolved by 16S rDNA sequencing. Species-level identification percentages were compared by a chi-square test. The in-house method correctly identified 179 (97%) and 175 (95%) isolates to the group and species level respectively. In comparison, the VITEK-MS system correctly identified 145 (79%) isolates to the group and species level. The difference between the two methods was statistically significant at both group and species levels. Using the Autoflex II instrument combined with an extraction method instead of whole cell analysis resulted in more reliable viridans streptococci identification. Our results suggest that combining extraction with powerful analysis software and the careful choice of well-identified strains included into the database was useful for identifying viridans streptococci species.


Viridans streptococci; MALDI-TOF MS; In-house database

MeSH Terms

DNA, Ribosomal
Knowledge Bases
Mass Spectrometry*
Viridans Streptococci*
DNA, Ribosomal
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