Mass spectrometry applications in microbiology beyond microbe identification: progress and potential

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Introduction: Mass spectrometry (MS), particularly MALDI-time of flight (MALDI-TOF), has become a routine tool for microorganism identification in clinical microbiology laboratories in the last five years. The use of MALDI-TOF MS has accelerated laboratory analysis, thus providing accurate species-level information with very short turnaround times. Areas covered: Beyond microbe identification, MALDI-TOF MS offers great opportunities for fast strain typing and detection of antimicrobial susceptibility/resistance in both bacterial and fungal organisms. Drawing on evidence from PubMed literature searches, clinical microbiology laboratory experience, and the authors’ opinions, this review summarizes recent significant advances and ongoing challenges in these areas. Expert commentary: In the near future, it is expected that the implementation of new analytical algorithms, automation of procedures, and refinement of assays will enhance the clinical and epidemiological usefulness of MALDI-TOF and other MS technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-977
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Proteomics
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • bacteria
  • clinical microbiology
  • fungi
  • mass spectrometry
  • microbial typing
  • resistance detection


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