Microflex LT (Bruker Daltonics) and VITEK MS (bioMérieux) are bacterial identification systems that are based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). For VITEK MS, two identification softwares, VITEK MS IVD (IVD) and SARAMIS (SARAMIS), are available. Microflex LT is equipped with MALDI Biotyper RTC software (Biotyper). Although the identification accuracy of each instrument has been compared for various bacteria, no detailed examination has been conducted for the identification accuracy of Clostridium difficile. In this report, we compared the three identification softwares for identification reproducibility in three ATCC C. difficile strains and identification accuracy in 50 clinical C. difficile isolates. The results showed 100, 91.7 and 100% identification reproducibility accuracy of ATCC strains when examined by IVD, SARAMIS and Biotyper software, respectively. For the identification of the clinical isolates, all three softwares exhibited satisfactory identification accuracy of C. difficile. Among the 50 clinical isolates, seven showed identical toxin genotype corresponding to the exact ribotype. However, MALDI-TOF MS failed to identify them as the identical type. Based on the above results, we concluded that both types of MALDI-TOF MS reproducibly identified C. difficile; however, they are currently not suitable for typing of C. difficile clones.
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