Multi-centre evaluation of mass spectrometric identification of anaerobic bacteria using the VITEK® MS system Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Bacteria, Anaerobic
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization


  • Accurate and timely identification of anaerobic bacteria is critical to successful treatment. Classic phenotypic methods for identification require long turnaround times and can exhibit poor species level identification. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is an identification method that can provide rapid identification of anaerobes. We present a multi-centre study assessing the clinical performance of the VITEK(®) MS in the identification of anaerobic bacteria. Five different test sites analysed a collection of 651 unique anaerobic isolates comprising 11 different genera. Multiple species were included for several of the genera. Briefly, anaerobic isolates were applied directly to a well of a target plate. Matrix solution (α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid) was added and allowed to dry. Mass spectra results were generated with the VITEK(®) MS, and the comparative spectral analysis and organism identification were determined using the VITEK(®) MS database 2.0. Results were confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Of the 651 isolates analysed, 91.2% (594/651) exhibited the correct species identification. An additional eight isolates were correctly identified to genus level, raising the rate of identification to 92.5%. Genus-level identification consisted of Actinomyces, Bacteroides and Prevotella species. Fusobacterium nucleatum, Actinomyces neuii and Bacteroides uniformis were notable for an increased percentage of no-identification results compared with the other anaerobes tested. VITEK(®) MS identification of clinically relevant anaerobes is highly accurate and represents a dramatic improvement over other phenotypic methods in accuracy and turnaround time.

publication date

  • January 2014



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1469-0691.12317

PubMed ID

  • 23927597

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 335

end page

  • 9


  • 20


  • 4