Data_Sheet_1_Evaluation of MALDI-ToF Mass Spectrometry for Rapid Detection of Cereulide From Bacillus cereus Cultures.PDF
Bacillus cereus plays an often unrecognized role in food borne diseases. Food poisoning caused by this pathogen is manifested by either diarrhea or emesis. Due to the relatively high prevalence of emetic toxin cereulide associated food poisoning, methods for simple and reliable detection of cereulide producing strains are of utmost importance. Recently, two different studies reported on the application of MALDI-ToF MS for either the differentiation of emetic and non-emetic strains of B. cereus or for direct detection of cereulide from bacterial colony smears. However, for implementation of cereulide detection using MALDI-ToF MS in routine microbiological diagnostics additional investigations on the sensitivity and specificity as well as on the fitting into common workflows for bacterial identification are needed. These aspects prompted us to investigate open issues and to test sample preparation methods, commonly used for microbial identification for their suitability to detect the emetic toxin from bacteria. Based on our experimental findings we propose a workflow that allows identification of B. cereus and sensitive detection of cereulide in parallel, using linear-mode MALDI-ToF MS equipment. The protocol was validated in a blinded study and is based on the well-established ethanol/formic acid extraction method. Cereulide is detected in the ethanol wash solution of samples identified as B. cereus as peaks at m/z 1175 and 1191. Peak position difference of 16 Th (Thomson) indicates detection of the sodium and potassium adducts of cereulide. This sample treatment offers possibilities for further characterization by more sophisticated LC-MS-based methods. In summary, the ease of use and the achieved level of analytical sensitivity as well as the wide-spread availability of MALDI-ToF MS equipment in clinical microbiological laboratories provides a promising tool to improve and to facilitate routine diagnostics of B. cereus associated food intoxications.
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