Helping clinicians quickly and effectively address the medical concerns of their patients should be the ultimate goal of any clinical microbiology laboratory. Delivering on this goal can be especially important when a patient presents with a bacterial or fungal infection. MALDI-ToF can help improve patient outcomes by speeding diagnosis and improving the quality of care.
There are many benefits to incorporating MALDI-ToF to aid in identification of microorganisms. Identification with MALDI-ToF is a relatively simple process. The process can reduce the time needed for identification and diagnosis from days to hours. There are, however, some limitations to MALDI-ToF. Some organisms may require repeat analysis and additional processing, and some closely related organisms are not differentiated and may cause challenges with identification. Also the initial purchase price of the equipment is high, which may limit the types of labs that can adopt it.
While not all laboratories are capable of widely adopting MALDI-ToF, those that can, probably should. MALDI-ToF may promote better patient outcomes through speedier diagnosis and information to influence efficacious treatment for many bacterial, yeast, and mycobacterial infections, greatly improving the quality of clinical management and patient care.
MALDI-ToF is poised to speed diagnosis for bacterial and fungal infections(MLO)
MALDI-ToF principle (Frontiers Microbiology)
Image: Juha Wahlstedt