MALDI‑TOF MS for the rapid identification and drug susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi
- Yang Peng
- Qin Zhang
- Chao Xu
- Weifeng Shi
Published online on: October 22, 2019
Copyright: © Peng et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
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The present study aimed to evaluate the applicability of matrix‑assisted laser desorption/ionization time‑of‑flight mass spectrometry (MALDI‑TOF MS) for identifying filamentous fungi and assessing the in vitro activities of common antifungal drugs against different kinds of filamentous fungi that are commonly encountered in a clinical setting. A total of 123 strains of filamentous fungi (24 species) were submitted for identification by MALDI‑TOF MS, and the findings were compared with those obtained by conventional methods. The discrepancies were further investigated by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis. Then, 79 strains were randomly selected for further testing by the minimum inhibitory concentration Etest method. MALDI‑TOF MS correctly identified 114 (92.70%) of the 123 filamentous fungi and failed to identify six isolates (4.9%). By contrast, the conventional identification methods made 113 (91.9%) correct identifications. In addition, 15 isolates of filamentous fungi were further identified by ribosomal DNA‑ITS sequencing. In the in vitro antifungal susceptibility test, voriconazole showed the strongest antifungal activity among the tested drugs against a broad range of filamentous fungi. Caspofungin showed a better in vitro antifungal activity than fluconazole, itraconazole, and amphotericin B. MALDI‑TOF MS offers a cost/time‑saving, high‑throughput and accurate working protocol for identifying filamentous fungi. Voriconazole could still serve as the first‑line drug for treating serious infections caused by filamentous fungi, while caspofungin may be another treatment option for fungal infections.