Comparison of standard and on-plate extraction protocols for identification of mastitis-causing bacteria by MALDI-TOF MS.


Department of Animal Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, University of São Paulo (USP), 225 Duque de Caxias Norte Avenue, Zip code, Pirassununga, SP, 13635-900, Brazil. [Email]


The objective was to compare standard versus on-plate sample preparation protocols for identification of mastitis bacteria by MALDI-TOF MS. A total of 186 bacterial isolates from cows with subclinical mastitis were identified by MALDI-TOF MS after preparation using two extraction protocols. On-plate protocol was performed by applying the bacterial colony directly from the culture plate onto the plate spot. For the standard protocol, lysis of bacterial colonies using reagents was performed in a cryotube, and the resulting extract was applied onto the plate spot for analysis. The on-plate protocol showed a similar bacteria identification rate (91.4%, n = 170/186) in comparison to the standard (94.6%, n = 176/186). Identification was higher for both protocols when scores used for species-level identification (≥ 2.0) was reduced to genus-level (≥ 1.7); genus-level identification score rate increased from 94.6 to 100% when using the standard protocol, and from 91.4 to 94.6% when using the on-plate protocol. However, when compared standard (as gold standard) versus on-plate protocol, genus-level identification score rate ranged from 87.1 to 89.8%. Therefore, when the on-plate protocol fails to identify any specie, the standard extraction may be more suitable as a reference protocol for use. Strategy for increasing identification with the on-plate protocol may include upgrading the reference database library. Choice of protocol for preparation may be influenced by the bacterial type to be identified. Standard and on-plate extraction protocols of bacterial ribosomal proteins associated with MALDI-TOF MS might be alternatives to conventional microbiology methods for identification of subclinical mastitis pathogens.


MALDI-TOF MS,Mastitis,Standard and on-plate extraction,Subclinical case,