Matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a rapid and accurate method of identifying microorganisms. Throughout Europe, it is already in routine use but has not yet been widely implemented in the United States, pending FDA approval. Here, we describe two medically complex patients at a large tertiary-care academic medical center with recurring bacteremias caused by distinct but related species. Bacterial identifications were initially obtained using the Vitek-2 system with the GPI card for Enterococcus and the API system for staphylococci. Initial results misled clinicians as to the source and proper management of these patients. Retrospective investigation with MALDI-TOF MS clarified the diagnosis by identifying a single microorganism as the pathogen in each case. To our knowledge, this is one of the first reports in the United States demonstrating the use of MALDI-TOF MS to facilitate the clinical diagnosis in patients with recurrent bacteremias of unclear source.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)