Direct matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry improves appropriateness of antibiotic treatment of bacteremia

PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e32589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032589. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) allows the identification of microorganisms directly from positive blood culture broths. Use of the MALDI-TOF MS for rapid identification of microorganisms from blood culture broths can reduce the turnaround time to identification and may lead to earlier appropriate treatment of bacteremia. During February and April 2010, direct MALDI-TOF MS was routinely performed on all positive blood cultures. During December 2009 and March 2010 no direct MALDI-TOF MS was used. Information on antibiotic therapy was collected from the hospital and intensive care units' information systems from all positive blood cultures during the study period. In total, 253 episodes of bacteremia were included of which 89 during the intervention period and 164 during the control period. Direct performance of MALDI-TOF MS on positive blood culture broths reduced the time till species identification by 28.8-h and was associated with an 11.3% increase in the proportion of patients receiving appropriate antibiotic treatment 24 hours after blood culture positivity (64.0% in the control period versus 75.3% in the intervention period (p0.01)). Routine implementation of this technique increased the proportion of patients on adequate antimicrobial treatment within 24 hours.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteremia / blood
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy*
  • Bacteremia / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques / methods*
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents