Oral Presentation Australian Institute of Medical Scientists National Scientific Meeting 2013

MALDI-TOF MS – Integration into the clinical microbiology workflow and future applications. (#7)

Danielle Sevior 1
  1. bioMerieux, Port Melbourne, VIC, Australia

MALDI-TOF technology has certainly revolutionised the process of identifying organisms in the clinical microbiology laboratory. This rapid technology has been embraced as a way to decrease the time to result and increase the number of possible identifications, both improving patient care and assisting medical staff with therapeutic decisions. In addition to these benefits, MALDI-TOF has decreased the cost of identifications to the laboratory and had a major impact on the day to day workflow. Despite the rapid implementation of MALDI-TOF technology, there are several key limitations that are the focus of current research. The ability to identify organisms without the need to culture on solid media, including directly from liquid media and patient samples including blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid, are all being currently investigated . The identification of antimicrobial resistance with a universal and rapid platform that is not organism specific would provide real advantages to the patient and the laboratory. Limiting the development of this resistance detection are many challenges, in particular the protein pattern that is key in MALDI-TOF identification is not stable in the rapidly evolving world of microbes. Additionally microorganisms have several mechanisms by which they gain their resistance. Whilst the current state of these emerging areas is promising they all require further work to move them from the research laboratories into routine use.