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Bruker and the CDC Special Bacteriology Reference Laboratory Announce a Collaboration for Mass Spectrometry-based Microbial Identification

At the 112th General Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) in San Francisco, Bruker announces a new collaboration with the Special Bacteriology Reference Laboratory (SBRL) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The SBRL receives approximately 800 isolates of rare and unusual bacteria from U.S. public health laboratories (PHLs) each year for identification. SBRL maintains a culture collection of over 90,000 isolates that have been received over the past 60 years. Currently, SBRL uses a polyphasic approach to identify unusual bacteria, including both traditional microbiological and molecular testing. Traditional biochemical tests may take weeks to complete. Molecular methods, i.e. 16S rRNA gene sequencing, are more rapid, but the public sequence databases may be incomplete and contain erroneous sequences.

MALDI-TOF testing can be completed in hours and therefore has the potential to produce more rapid results than traditional microbiological testing methods. The goals of this announced collaboration include: validation and expansion of the Bruker MALDI Biotyper database of protein fingerprint profiles for identification of unusual bacterial pathogens; evaluation of the use of the Bruker MALDI Biotyper as a replacement for or in conjunction with traditional biochemical testing in order to decrease the time needed for accurate identification of bacteria.

During the collaboration period of one year, each bacterial isolate received by SBRL will be tested using the MALDI Biotyper, traditional phenotypic and 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing to validate the results. In addition, type strains of known bacteria will be tested by the three methods. MALDI-TOF will be evaluated for accuracy, reproducibility, and ease of use. Data will be analyzed to determine the value of adding MALDI-TOF to the SBRL testing algorithm.

This research collaboration will enhance the MALDI Biotyper database as well as determine if the MALDI-TOF platform can complement the other testing methods currently used by SBRL and the US PHLs for bacterial identification.

Dr. Gongyi Shi, Director of Scientific Affairs in the Microbiology business of Bruker Daltonics, commented: "We are very excited to establish this collaboration with CDC's Special Bacteriology Reference Laboratory. The MALDI Biotyper has been demonstrated to have superior performance, compared to classical identification methods, for common bacteria representing roughly 95% of the isolates in most clinical microbiology laboratories. With SBRL's worldwide acknowledged expertise in the field and large collection of bacteria, especially those rare and unusual bacteria, we will further improve the coverage of the MALDI Biotyper reference library. Over time, this will allow us to provide an even better solution to our customers."

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