Bacteria quickly identified thanks to a chemical ‘fingerprint’
June 10, 2014

Since 2012 WLN has a MALDI-TOF MS biotyper at its disposal with which suspicious bacteria can be identified by means of chemotaxonomy. The great advantage of this technique is its speed: within a matter of minutes we know with certainty whether a sample has been contaminated.

If suspicious bacteria are encountered in a growth, their nature must be confirmed. This confirmation used to be executed by means of the classical growth method or, until recently, a DNA analysis. The MALDI-TOF MS offers an extremely fast alternative. The suspicious bacterium, for example a Coliform, Enterococcus or Legionella, is brought onto a small steel plate. By adding a chemical substance the cell wall of the bacterium is destroyed. The released proteins are shot into a tube by a laser. The small proteins will reach the detection gate sooner than the large ones. This results in a unique spectrum  for a bacterium (‘fingerprint’ ) which is characteristic for that specific bacterium. By comparing this spectrum with a vast database we can identify the bacterium. If desired we can even name the genus and the type. Thus the MALDI-TOF MS enables us to inform you even quicker and more complete.