Can you identify Listeria with MALDI⁠⁠-⁠⁠TOF MS?

Yes, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry can be used to accurately identify and discriminate between different Listeria species, including the pathogenic Listeria monocytogenes12345.The key points are:

  • MALDI-TOF MS is a fast, cost-effective, and accurate tool for routine identification of Listeria species13. It can precisely discriminate between the different Listeria lineages and species1.
  • Studies have shown MALDI-TOF MS can correctly identify L. monocytogenes, L. innocua, L. ivanovii, and other Listeria species with 100% accuracy, as confirmed by whole genome analysis1.
  • MALDI-TOF MS can detect low levels of L. monocytogenes (as few as 1 colony-forming unit per mL) directly from selective enrichment broths of various food samples like milk, chicken pâté, cantaloupe, and cheese3.
  • The detection time depends on the initial dose of Listeria, with higher initial levels leading to earlier detection. However, the standard 30-hour enrichment protocol can reliably detect low contamination levels3.
  • While MALDI-TOF MS requires an initial investment, it has low running costs and most labs see a return on investment within 12 months. It is a universal test method that can be integrated into the normal workflow of food testing labs3.

In summary, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is a highly effective and efficient technique for rapid, accurate, and cost-effective identification and detection of Listeria species, including the pathogenic L. monocytogenes, in food samples12345.

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