Pathogens and microorganisms

Clinical microbiology laboratory plays an important role in patient care by providing the cause of infection and antimicrobial susceptibility data to physicians. Rapid diagnosis of pathogens is important for initiating effective antibiotic administration and improving the outcomes of treatment. Conventional diagnosis of microorganisms uses phenotypic identification and gene sequencing, which is tedious and time-consuming. In contrast, MALDI–TOF/MS is a simple, rapid, reproducible, and low-cost technique that has been successfully applied to identify pathogens [135–143]. Based on characteristic peptide and protein profiles obtained from intact cells, MALDI–TOF/MS allows a highly discriminatory identification of bacteria, yeasts, and filamentous fungi even after 10 min of culture. With the use of a database to identify microorganisms, the reliability and accuracy of this approach have been demonstrated, and systems (including instrument and software) are already commercially available [135–143]. The applications of MALDI–TOF/MS in research on pathogens and microorganisms include identification of pathogens from positive blood cultures and urine, real-time diagnosis of blood stream infections, and detection of antibiotic resistance bacteria

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