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      Leptospira species and serovars identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry after database implementation

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          Abstract

          Background

          Leptospirosis, a spirochaetal zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution, endemic in Europe, has been recognized as an important emerging infectious disease, though yet it is mostly a neglected disease which imparts its greatest burden on impoverished populations from developing countries. Leptospirosis is caused by the infection with any of the more than 230 serovars of pathogenic Leptospira sp. In this study we aimed to implement the MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS) database currently available in our laboratory with Leptospira reference pathogenic ( L. interrogans, L. borgpetersenii, L. kirschneri, L. noguchii), intermediate ( L. fainei) and saprophytic ( L. biflexa) strains of our collection in order to evaluate its possible application to the diagnosis of leptospirosis and to the typing of strains. This was done with the goal of understanding whether this methodology could be used as a tool for the identification of Leptospira strains, not only at species level for diagnostic purposes, but also at serovar level for epidemiological purposes, overcoming the limits of serological and molecular conventional methods. Twenty Leptospira reference strains were analysed by MALDI-TOF MS. Statistical analysis of the protein spectra was performed by ClinProTools software.

          Results

          The spectra obtained by the analysis of the reference strains tested were grouped into 6 main classes corresponding to the species analysed, highlighting species-specific protein profiles. Moreover, the statistical analysis of the spectra identified discriminatory peaks to recognize Leptospira strains also at serovar level extending previously published data.

          Conclusions

          In conclusion, we confirmed that MALDI-TOF MS could be a powerful tool for research and diagnostic in the field of leptospirosis with broad applications ranging from the detection and identification of pathogenic leptospires for diagnostic purposes to the typing of pathogenic and non-pathogenic leptospires for epidemiological purposes in order to enrich our knowledge about the epidemiology of the infection in different areas and generate control strategies.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Ongoing revolution in bacteriology: routine identification of bacteria by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

          Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry accurately identifies both selected bacteria and bacteria in select clinical situations. It has not been evaluated for routine use in the clinic. We prospectively analyzed routine MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry identification in parallel with conventional phenotypic identification of bacteria regardless of phylum or source of isolation. Discrepancies were resolved by 16S ribosomal RNA and rpoB gene sequence-based molecular identification. Colonies (4 spots per isolate directly deposited on the MALDI-TOF plate) were analyzed using an Autoflex II Bruker Daltonik mass spectrometer. Peptidic spectra were compared with the Bruker BioTyper database, version 2.0, and the identification score was noted. Delays and costs of identification were measured. Of 1660 bacterial isolates analyzed, 95.4% were correctly identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry; 84.1% were identified at the species level, and 11.3% were identified at the genus level. In most cases, absence of identification (2.8% of isolates) and erroneous identification (1.7% of isolates) were due to improper database entries. Accurate MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry identification was significantly correlated with having 10 reference spectra in the database (P=.01). The mean time required for MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry identification of 1 isolate was 6 minutes for an estimated 22%-32% cost of current methods of identification. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is a cost-effective, accurate method for routine identification of bacterial isolates in or =10 reference spectra per bacterial species and a 1.9 identification score (Brucker system). It may replace Gram staining and biochemical identification in the near future.
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            Leptospira: the dawn of the molecular genetics era for an emerging zoonotic pathogen.

            Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that has emerged as an important cause of morbidity and mortality among impoverished populations. One hundred years after the discovery of the causative spirochaetal agent, little is understood about Leptospira spp. pathogenesis, which in turn has hampered the development of new intervention strategies to address this neglected disease. However, the recent availability of complete genome sequences for Leptospira spp. and the discovery of genetic tools for their transformation have led to important insights into the biology of these pathogens and their pathogenesis. We discuss the life cycle of the bacterium, the recent advances in our understanding and the implications for the future prevention of leptospirosis.
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              Leptospirosis: a zoonotic disease of global importance

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Unit of Microbiology and Virology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Parma, Viale A. Gramsci, 14-43126 Parma, Italy
                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Res Notes
                BMC Res Notes
                BMC Research Notes
                BioMed Central
                1756-0500
                2014
                2 June 2014
                : 7
                : 330
                24890024 4048046 1756-0500-7-330 10.1186/1756-0500-7-330
                Copyright © 2014 Calderaro et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Medicine

                database implementation, identification, maldi-tof ms, leptospira sp.

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