Evaluation of the Bruker Biotyper and VITEK MS MALDI-TOF MS systems for the identification of unusual and/or difficult-to-identify microorganisms isolated from clinical specimens

E. McElvania TeKippe, C. A D Burnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the analytical performance characteristics of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the identification of unusual organisms. We evaluated the accuracy of two MALDI-TOF MS systems, bioMérieux VITEK MS (database v2.0) and Bruker Biotyper (software version 3.0), for the identification of the most difficult and/or unusual microorganisms isolated from clinical specimens. Our study included 174 bacterial isolates recovered from clinical cultures at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO, from 2009 to 2013, representing 50 genera and 52 species. MS identifications were compared to the identification reported by the reference laboratory. Discrepancies were resolved using molecular methods, including 16S rRNA gene sequencing and additional molecular methods. When performed, molecular methods were considered the gold standard. Of the 168 isolates resolved to the genus level, VITEK MS identified 145 (86.3 %), and of the 114 isolates resolved to the species level, 97 (85.1 %) were correctly identified. Bruker Biotyper identified 155 (92.3 %) of 168 isolates to the genus level and 97 (85.1 %) of 114 isolates to the species level. VITEK MS and Bruker Biotyper provided no identification for 17 (10.1 %) and 12 (7.1 %) organisms, respectively, and misidentified six (3.6 %) and one (0.6 %) isolate, respectively. Six isolates (3.6 %) were not resolvable to the genus level and were excluded from data analysis due to the lack of a gold standard for comparison. There was no significant difference in the number of organisms identified to the genus level, species level, unidentified, or misidentified by the two MALDI-TOF MS systems (p = 0.11, 1.0, 0.44, and 0.12, respectively).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2163-2171
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 11 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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