ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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Reducing Turnaround Time (TAT) in the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis: Direct CSF analysis by Mass Spectrometry
Varnit Shanker

Last modified: 2018-09-09



Bacterial meningitis is a neurological emergency. Early diagnosis and rapid initiation of antimicrobial therapy are vital.


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is increasingly used as a rapid and accurate microbial diagnostic method for species identification of pathogens. Although this technology requires a growth step to obtain bacterial colonies for the acquisition of substantial spectra in most cases, it can also be used to analyze clinical specimens such as urine and cerebrospinal fluid for direct bacterial identification. There are very few reports describing the use of MALDI-TOF MS for the direct detection of microorganisms causing bacterial meningitis.


In this study 28 cases of bacterial meningitis are described in which MALDI-TOF MS provided a rapid bacteriological diagnosis, thus enabling early and appropriate treatment. MS was able to correctly identify pathogen in less than 20 minutes in all 28 CSF samples.


Identification of microbes based on MALDI-TOF MS is now an important technology in clinical microbiology laboratories that are required to provide a rapid diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.


Cerebrospinal fluid; MALDI-TOF MS; Meningitis

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