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Bruker and the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the University of Zurich Announce a Collaboration for Mass Spectrometry-based Microbial Identification with Focus on Coryneform Bacteria, Actinomycetes, Fastidious Gram-negative Rods and Moulds

At the 4th Congress of European Microbiologists (Federation of European Microbiological Societies, or FEMS) meeting in Geneva, Bruker announces a collaboration with the Institute of Medical Microbiology (IMM) at the University of Zurich. The IMM is using Bruker´s MALDI Biotyper system as their next-generation, rapid microbial identification system. The Institute of Medical Microbiology is the Swiss national reference centre for mycobacteria and its strain collections of coryneform bacteria, actinomycetes and fastidious gram negative bacteria and moulds are acknowledged worldwide. The IMM is faced with the characterization and identification of challenging microorganisms on a daily base. Therefore, the IMM has developed their own algorithms and workflows for identification and antibiotics susceptibility testing (AST). Their AST approaches are mainly based on Kirby-Bauer testing methods, which are now applied in combination with MALDI-TOF based identification technology.

The focus of the collaboration between the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Bruker is the field of coryneform bacteria, actinomycetes, fastidious gram negative bacteria and moulds. The identification of these microorganisms is one of the most challenging tasks of many microbiological laboratories. The MALDI Biotyper provides a substantial contribution to a more thorough characterization of this group of microorganisms. Furthermore, the IMM microbiologists designed a study to validate the analytical performance of the MALDI Biotyper against their own molecular-characterized strain collection. Based on the results, the MALDI Biotyper reference library will be further extended. This will further improve its proven outstanding identification performance.

Dr. Michael Hombach, the Associate Head of Bacteriology at the Institute of Medical Microbiology, stated: “We have started the collaboration with Bruker to further develop the MALDI-TOF based microorganisms identification system, because the MALDI Biotyper has the potential to improve and support our microbiology identification strategy due to its quick and accurate performance in identifying difficult bacteria, yeasts and fungi samples. During our daily routine we increasingly face the problem of a broadening spectrum of infections and of complex resistance patterns. In order to keep up with fast modifications of microbial species characteristics, the open and flexible concept of the MALDI Biotyper is a promising solution to further improve the performance of our diagnostic lab.”

Dr. Guido Mix, Director of Microbiology Sales at Bruker Daltonics, commented further: “The collaboration with the Institute of Medical Microbiology support our efforts to provide novel and advanced tools to the microbiologists that make daily identifications faster and easier. The comprehensive and worldwide acknowledged expertise of the IMM in the field of coryneform bacteria, actinomycetes, fastidious Gram-negative rods and moulds will also be adopted in our developments. Thus, MALDI Biotyper based confident identification even of these challenging microorganisms will become more established in microbiologists’ daily work.”

Bruker’s dedicated MALDI Biotyper solution enables molecular identification, taxonomical classification or dereplication of microorganisms like bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Classification and identification of microorganisms is achieved reliably and fast using proteomic fingerprinting with high-throughput MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Applications include clinical routine microbial identification, environmental and pharmaceutical analysis, taxonomical research, food and consumer product processing and quality control, as well as in marine microbiology. Bruker’s robust MALDI Biotyper method requires minimal sample preparation efforts and offers low cost per sample. The MALDI Biotyper is available in a research-use-only version, as well as in an IVD version according to the EU directive EC/98/79 in certain EU countries.

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