, Volume 180, Issue 3–4, pp 165–171 | Cite as

Evaluation of the Bruker Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption–Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) System for the Identification of Clinically Important Dermatophyte Species

  • Nilgün Karabıçak
  • Onur Karatuna
  • Macit İlkit
  • Işın Akyar


Dermatophytes can invade the stratum corneum of the skin and other keratinized tissues and are responsible for a broad diversity of diseases of skin, nails and hair. Although the standard identification of dermatophytoses depends on macroscopic and microscopic characterization of the colonies grown on special media, there are a number of limitations owing to intraspecies morphological variability, atypical morphology or interspecies morphological similarity which entails improvement in the identification methods. Matrix-assisted laser desorption–ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is a novel method which proved to be effective for rapid and reliable identification of dermatophytes grown in cultures when compared to conventional methods. We evaluated the performance of Bruker MALDI-TOF MS System (Bruker Daltonics, Germany) for identification of clinically relevant dermatophytes. In order to increase the identification capacity of the system, we created supplemental spectral database entries using ten reference dermatophyte strains (ten species in two genera). The utility of the generated database was then challenged using a total of 126 dermatophytes (115 clinical isolates and 11 additional reference strains). The results were evaluated by both manufacturer-recommended and lowered cutoff scores. MALDI-TOF MS provided correct identification in 122 (96.8 %) and 113 (89.7 %) of the isolates with the lowered scores and using the supplemented database, respectively, versus 65 (51.6 %) and 17 (13.5 %) correct identifications obtained by the unmodified database and recommended scores at the genus and species levels, respectively. Our results support the potential utility of MALDI-TOF MS as a routine tool for accurate and reliable identification of dermatophytes.


Dermatophyte Dermatophytose Identification MALDI-TOF MS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nilgün Karabıçak
    • 1
  • Onur Karatuna
    • 2
  • Macit İlkit
    • 3
  • Işın Akyar
    • 2
  1. 1.National Mycology Reference LaboratoryPublic Health Institute of TurkeyAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Medical Microbiology, School of MedicineAcıbadem UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Division of Mycology, Department of Microbiology, School of MedicineÇukurova UniversityAdanaTurkey

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