MALDI-ToF Mass Spectrometry – A valid alternative for microbial identification
Rapid and accurate identification of pathogenic microorganisms in areas such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing are of paramount importance. Traditional identification techniques often require subcultures on selective medium, colony isolation, Gram staining or biochemical testing, which are labour intensive and time consuming.
Rapid microbiological methods (RMMs) for microbial identification have been widely adopted by the clinical microbiology environment due to their speed and accuracy resulting in reduced risk and improved patient safety. Furthermore, as RMMs generally reduce product release cycle time, labour and cost alongside supporting real-time data analysis and high throughput, it is unsurprising that these technologies are also being adopted by the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
Matrix Assisted Light Desorption Ionisation Time-of Flight (MALDI-ToF)
MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry, a phenotypical RMM for microbial identification, is a unique, highly accurate alternative method that facilitates cost-effective, precise and rapid data acquisition. Since its introduction by Karas and co-workers in 1987, MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry has been substantially developed and is now considered to be a real alternative for bacterial identification due to the provision of rapid and specific determination analogous to molecular sequencing techniques, with the benefit of significant time and cost savings.
By Wickham Micro and European Pharmaceutical Review
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