Microbial typing by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry: Do we need guidance for data interpretation?

Sébastien Spinali, Alex Van Belkum, Richard V. Goering, Victoria Girard, Martin Welker, Marc Van Nuenen, David H. Pincus, Maud Arsac, Géraldine Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations


The integration of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) in clinical microbiology has revolutionized species identification of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. However, beyond straightforward identification, the method has also been suggested to have the potential for subspecies-level or even type-level epidemiological analyses. This minireview explores MALDI-TOF MS-based typing, which has already been performed on many clinically relevant species. We discuss the limits of the method's resolution and we suggest interpretative criteria allowing valid comparison of strain-specific data. We conclude that guidelines for MALDI-TOF MS-based typing can be developed along the same lines as those used for the interpretation of data from pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-765
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this