Mycobacteria identification need not be difficult

The genus Mycobacterium includes the important pathogens of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) and the nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Members of the latter group are increasingly causing opportunistic infections among immuno-compromised patients. This trend and the rise of antibiotic resistance in this genus demand improved differentiation among Mycobacterium species.

The mycobacteria identification challenge

Traditional methods for identification of mycobacteria may take weeks and are often inaccurate. Commercially available nucleic acid hybridization probes improved turn-around times significantly, but can lack specificity. Sequencing of target genes like 16S rDNA is very fast and highly accurate but expensive and not available everywhere.
Bruker’s MALDI Biotyper MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry system for identification of microorganisms masters the challenge of mycobacteria identification with short turn-around-time, high specificity, ease-of-use and significantly reduced costs per test.

High confidence mycobacteria identification

The Mycobacteria Suite for the MALDI Biotyper is the comprehensive solution for highly reliable and fast mycobacteria identification. It is composed of a specific spectrum library and software module. The MBT Mycobacteria library contains spectra for 178 of the currently known 201 mycobacteria species. The natural variability of Mycobacterium species is covered by 807 strains – of which more than 480 are clinical isolates. The MBT Mycobacteria software module with adapted data acquisition and analysis secures highly sensitive and specific Mycobacteria identifications.

MycoEx – the optimized and safe preparation protocol

Mycobacterium tuberculosis has a very low infectious dose and laboratories handling mycobacteria must take protective measures to prevent laboratory-acquired infections. Bruker developed therefore the easy and safe MycoEx extraction protocol for solid media and liquid cultures to minimize the infection risk.

Differentiation of the Mycobacterium chimaera / intracellulare complex

For laboratories in need to differentiate  M. chimaera from M. intracellulare the optional MBT Subtyping Module is the solution. Application of the MBT Subtyping Module in the mass spectrometric workflow after successful identification of the M. chimaera / intracellulare complex allows for the first time fast and accurate differentiation of both species by thorough comparison of characteristic mass spectrum peaks.