Use of MALDI-TOF Mass-Spectrometry and Quantitative PCR for Rapid Diagnosis of Sepsis

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2014; 16(1):4-9

Journal article


To assess the use of MALDI-TOF MS and the experimental «Septi-Panel» assay (quantitative PCR method) in the screening of pathogens in blood culture.

Materials and Methods.

A total of 50 positive blood cultures (BactAlert) obtained from adult patients and newborns with suspected sepsis were included in the study. Pathogen detection were performed by direct mass-spectrometry, quantitative PCR using «Septi-Panel» assay, and culture.


Of 50 positive blood cultures tested, 76% and 92% of microorganisms were identified to species by direct mass-spectrometry and quantitative PCR, respectively. Positive result was yielded in 60% of cases when all three methods were used simultaneously.


MALDI-TOF MS was appeared to be rapid and reliable method in the diagnosis of sepsis caused by a single pathogen. In order to improve effectiveness of this method, further developments of sample preparation and interpretation methods using BioTyper software are needed. PCR method with experimental «Septi Panel» assay ensures very fast and accurate determination of a wide variety of possible pathogens in blood. Innovative pathogen testing technologies for positive blood cultures significantly reduces time of analysis which allows clinicians to make timely and reasonable decisions in the treatment of sepsis.

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