Rapid Candida Species Identification- Is MALDI-TOF MS The Answer?
The incidence of superficial and deep fungal infections have
been on the increase over the last decade, so much so that Candida
species are now the fourth most common cause of bloodstream infections
in the United States, it is paramount in these cases that a rapid
identification is possible to ensure an appropriate effective course of
treatment is made available to the patient. Traditional fungal and
yeast identification methods usually involve biochemical, morphological
and physiological tests, that can be time consuming and labour
intensive. These techniques also require a high level of skill,
training and often the personal judgement/experience of a clinical
mycologist. Commercial kits are available for the more clinically
relevant yeasts and fungi including Candida species, these however are
mainly based on biochemical tests and/or colour interpretation, often
only covering a narrow range of species and/or require a 24-72h
following culture to obtain an identification.
MALDI-TOF MS has recently shown great success in bacterial
identification and this paper aims to explore the possibility of
developing the technique to include yeasts, in particular Candida
species. The use of MALDI-TOF MS has the advantage of reducing culture
time to 24 hours, and identification to within minutes.