Subtyping Keyvisual

Accurate differentiation of Mycobacterium chimaera from M. intracellulare


The unknown risk

Mycobacterium chimaera is a non-tuberculous mycobacterium which rarely causes infections in humans. But in 2014, airborne transmission of M. chimaera from Heater-Cooler Units (HCUs) was reported for the first time and there are now several reports about contamination of medical equipment used in heart surgery.¹²³ There is a risk that the HCUs used in open-heart surgery may be contaminated with M. chimaera and that exposure of patients to these units in the operating theatre might lead to infections. Problems may arise months to years after surgery, leading possibly to e.g. removal of prosthetic devices.

[1] Haller S et al. (2016)
[2] Kohler et al. (2015)
[3] Sax et al. (2015)

Can MALDI-TOF differentiate M. chimaera from
M. intracellulare

Routine identification using MALDI-TOF is restricted to the identification of the M. chimaera / intracellulare complex, because the mass spectra of both species are very similar. Conventional identification methods suffer from the same limitation.



Not for use in clinical diagnostic procedures.

The MBT Subtyping Module can

The module is automatically activated after successful identification of a sample as M. chimaera / M. intracellulare complex. It allows for the first time the fast and accurate differentiation of both species by thorough characterization of specific mass spectrum peaks. This has been successfully tested with more than 200 strains from 16 laboratories from 11 countries.This capability will support new insights into the pathogenic role of M. chimaera which might improve infection control in future.

[4] Pranada et al. (2017)

Note: prerequisite for the differentiation is the installed MBT Mycobacteria library version 4.0 or higher.

Chimaera Intra Run MBT Compass