Quickly identify the target microorganism using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry techniques (MALDI-TOF MS)
Micro-organism identification may be essential in a variety of situations:
- In the event of a presumed microbiological alteration of a product, in order to study the causes of the alteration and apply the necessary measures to correct the process
- In order to analyse the surface and environmental micro-organisms present in the product manufacturing processes
- To characterise a specific micro-organism in our process, such as in the case of starter cultures
- To establish traceability and to determine whether a micro-organism in a product comes from a particular raw material, for example.
- To verify if the micro-organism is a pathogen
- To characterise the composition of biofilms
Up until the introduction of MALDI-TOF MS, bacterial identification was still based on methods developed by classical bacteriology. These methods had a number of drawbacks, including the necessity, in most cases, of incubation periods of at least 16-18 hours, as well as other technical disadvantages.
Compared to these classical identification methods, MALDI-TOF MS has obvious advantages:
- It provides reliable identification in a short period of time, thus saving at least those 16-18 h of growth in biochemical identification systems
- This technique is based on the protein profile analysis of the microorganism in the 2-20kD spectrum, where most of the ribosomal proteins are located. This provides a specific profile for the vast majority of bacterial species. This makes it possible to differentiate them from the rest with the same reliability as the most common sequencing techniques (16S rRNA)