1887

Abstract

We considered the application of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for BSL-3 bacterial diagnostics, with a focus on the biosafety of live-culture direct-colony testing and the stability of stored extracts. Biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) bacterial species were used as surrogates for BSL-3 high-consequence pathogens in all live-culture MALDI-TOF experiments. Viable BSL-2 bacteria were isolated from MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry target plates after ‘direct-colony’ and ‘on-plate’ extraction testing, suggesting that the matrix chemicals alone cannot be considered sufficient to inactivate bacterial culture and spores in all samples. Sampling of the instrument interior after direct-colony analysis did not recover viable organisms, suggesting that any potential risks to the laboratory technician are associated with preparation of the MALDI-TOF target plate before or after testing. Secondly, a long-term stability study (3 years) of stored MALDI-TOF extracts showed that match scores can decrease below the threshold for reliable species identification (<1.7), which has implications for proficiency test panel item storage and distribution.

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2018-02-02
2019-10-19
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