Gamma Healthcare is pleased to announce the addition of the bioMèrieux MALDI-TOF* Mass Spectrometry (MS) analyzer to its line of fully automated microbiology instrumentation. Pathogen identification is crucial to confirm bacterial infections and to guide antimicrobial therapy. Clinical laboratories, more than ever, need rapid and reliable organism identification test methods.
Definitive identification of a microorganism to the species level typically requires up to 24 hours or more and often several time-consuming steps. The bioMèrieux MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry analyzer offers a technique to identify a molecule and determine its chemical structure by analyzing the mass and the charge of its ions. Mass spectrometry provides an identification of a microorganism’s genus and species in just a few minutes. This methodology provides us the ability to significantly reduce turn-around-time with respect to traditional identification methods.
MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry cannot be used for antibiotic susceptibility testing. We employ the bioMèrieux Vitek 2XL system for antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST). Instrument AST processing is 8 to 17 hours depending on the organism.
In the MADLI-TOF process, a sample to be analyzed is combined with a compound referred to as a matrix. This mixture is applied to a target slide, placed inside the analyzer, and irradiated with a laser. The matrix absorbs the laser light and vaporizes, along with the sample, gaining an electrical charge (ionization) in the process.
Electric fields guide the ions into a flight tube, which separates them according to mass then displays the results as a spectrum which corresponds to different fragments that have broken away from the original molecule. By analyzing the pattern of fragments it is possible to deduce the structure of the molecule.
bioMèrieux MS compares the pattern of fragments (spectrum) to an extensive database of spectra from bacterial species to allow the system to accurately identify the microorganism.
Gamma Healthcare is pleased to be able to provide this level and speed of organism identification to its clients and patients. Early organism identification is imperative in treatment success and positive patient outcomes. For further information visit the following websites.
*Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight