Discrimination of Aspergillus lentulus from Aspergillus fumigatus by Raman spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF MS

Patricia Verwer, Willem Leeuwen, V Girard, V Monnin, Alex Belkum, JF Staab, Henri Verbrugh, Irma Woudenberg, Wendy Laureijssen - van de Sande

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In 2005, a new sibling species of Aspergillus fumigatus was discovered: Aspergillus lentulus. Both species can cause invasive fungal disease in immune-compromised patients. The species are morphologically very similar. Current techniques for identification are PCR-based or morphology-based. These techniques are labour-intense and not sufficiently discriminatory. Since A. lentulus is less susceptible to several antifungal agents, it is important to correctly identify the causative infectious agent in order to optimize antifungal therapy. In this study we determined whether Raman spectroscopy and/or MALDI-TOF MS were able to differentiate between A. lentulus and A. fumigatus. For 16 isolates of A. lentulus and 16 isolates of A. fumigatus, Raman spectra and peptide profiles were obtained using the Spectracell and MALDI-TOF MS (VITEK MS RUO, bioM,rieux) respectively. In order to obtain reliable Raman spectra for A. fumigatus and A. lentulus, the culture medium needed to be adjusted to obtain colourless conidia. Only Raman spectra obtained from colourless conidia were reproducible and correctly identified 25 out of 32 (78 %) of the Aspergillus strains. For VITEK MS RUO, no medium adjustments were necessary. Pigmented conidia resulted in reproducible peptide profiles as well in this case. VITEK MS RUO correctly identified 100 % of the Aspergillus isolates, within a timeframe of approximately 54 h including culture. Of the two techniques studied here, VITEK MS RUO was superior to Raman spectroscopy in the discrimination of A. lentulus from A. fumigatus. VITEK MS RUO seems to be a successful technique in the daily identification of Aspergillus spp. within a limited timeframe.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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  • EMC MM-04-28-01

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