Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has revolutionized microorganism identification. Studies have applied this technology for identification of clinical isolates and verified its speed, high-throughput and cost effectiveness. Species from industries might be different with those of clinical isolates, and identifications of industrial bacteria are rarely reported. In this study, we applied this technology for industrial bacteria identification. We collected 152 strains from consumer goods industries, which scored lower than 2.0 (unreliable at species level). The strains were further analyzed by 16S rRNA and housekeeping gene sequence analysis, and physiological and biochemical analysis where necessary. The accuracy of MALDI-TOF MS identification highly depends on the scale of the spectra database. By enriching the database with the obtained mass spectrometry data (spectra and identifications), industrial isolate identifications can be improved by MALDI-TOF MS. This will enhance the robustness of this system beyond its current exceptional performance that includes use for in vitro diagnostics.
MALDI-TOF MS; Consumer goods; Bacteria; Identification.
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