[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Ibis T5000 is a novel diagnostic platform that couples PCR and mass spectrometry. In this study, we developed an assay that can identify all known pathogenic Vibrio species and field-tested it using natural water samples from both freshwater lakes and the Georgian coastal zone of the Black Sea. Of the 278 total water samples screened, 9 different Vibrio species were detected, 114 (41%) samples were positive for V. cholerae, and 5 (0.8%) samples were positive for the cholera toxin A gene (ctxA). All ctxA-positive samples were from two freshwater lakes, and no ctxA-positive samples from any of the Black Sea sites were detected.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are few diagnostic methods that readily distinguish among community-acquired methicillin (meticillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, now frequently transmitted within hospitals. We describe a rapid and high-throughput method for bacterial profiling of staphylococcal isolates. The method couples PCR to electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and is performed on a platform suitable for use in a diagnostic laboratory. This profiling technology produces a high-resolution genetic signature indicative of the presence of specific genetic elements that represent distinctive phenotypic features. The PCR/ESI-MS signature accurately identified genotypic determinants consistent with phenotypic traits in well-characterized reference and clinical isolates of S. aureus. Molecular identification of the antibiotic resistance genes correlated strongly with phenotypic in vitro resistance. The identification of toxin genes correlated with independent PCR analyses for the toxin genes. Finally, isolates were correctly classified into genotypic groups that correlated with genetic clonal complexes, repetitive-element-based PCR patterns, or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types. The high-throughput PCR/ESI-MS assay should improve clinical management of staphylococcal infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a high-throughput assay using PCR coupled to electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) to determine
the genotypes of Staphylococcus aureus isolates. The primer sets used in the PCR/ESI-MS assay were designed to amplify the same genes analyzed in multilocus sequence
typing (MLST). The method was used to identify the clonal complex and USA type of each isolate and is suitable for use in
a clinical or public-health setting. The method was validated using a panel of diverse isolates from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention that were previously characterized by MLST and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Clinical isolates
from two geographically distinct hospitals were characterized, and the clustering results were in agreement with those for
repetitive-element PCR and PFGE. The PCR/ESI-MS method enables genotyping of over 180 samples of S. aureus per day in an automated fashion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymerase chain reaction electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) was tested for its ability to accurately identify a blinded panel of 156 diverse bacterial isolates, mostly human and/or animal pathogens. Here, 142/156 (91%) isolates were correctly identified to the genus level and 115/156 (74%) were correctly identified to the species level. Only 9% were misidentified. This study shows that multilocus PCR/ESI-MS has the potential to be a useful technique for identifying a broad range of bacteria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymerase chain reaction/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS, previously known as “TIGER”) utilizes PCR with broad-range primers to amplify products from a wide array of organisms within a taxonomic group, followed by analysis of PCR amplicons using mass spectrometry. Computer analysis of precise masses allows for calculations of base compositions for the broad-range PCR products, which can then be compared to a database for identification. PCR/ESI-MS has the benefits of PCR in sensitivity and high-throughput capacity, but also has the distinct advantage of being able to detect and identify organisms with no prior characterization or sequence data. Existing broad range PCR primers, designed with an emphasis on human pathogens, were tested for their ability to amplify DNA of well characterized phytobacterial strains, as well as to populate the existing PCR/ESI-MS bacterial database with base counts. In a blinded panel study, PCR/ESI-MS successfully identified 93% of unknown bacterial DNAs to the genus level and 73% to the species/subspecies level. Additionally, PCR/ESI-MS was capable of detecting and identifying multiple bacteria within the same sample. The sensitivity of PCR/ESI-MS was consistent with other PCR based assays, and the specificity varied depending on the bacterial species. Preliminary tests with real life samples demonstrate a high potential for using PCR/ESI-MS systems for agricultural diagnostic applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Microbial Rosetta Stone (MRS) database system was developed to support the law enforcement community by providing a comprehensive and connected microbial pathogen data-information repository. To handle the myriad types of pathogen information required to support law enforcement and intelligence community investigations, a data model previously developed for medical and epidemiological information was enhanced. The data contained in MRS are a broad collection of expert-curated microbial pathogen information, but given the multitude of potential microbes and toxins that may be used in a biocrime or bioterrorism act continual information collection and updating are required. The MRS currently relates governmental community-specific pathogen priority lists, sequence metadata, taxonomic classifications, and diseases to strain collections, specific detection and treatment protocols, and experimental results for biothreat agents. The system contains software tools that help to load, curate, and connect the data. A shared MRS database can be populated in real time by multiple users in multiple locations. Querying tools also provide simple and powerful means to access the data in any part of the database.
Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 08/2008; 123(1):65-9. DOI:10.1007/s00414-008-0247-1 · 2.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effective influenza surveillance requires new methods capable of rapid and inexpensive genomic analysis of evolving viral species for pandemic preparedness, to understand the evolution of circulating viral species, and for vaccine strain selection. We have developed one such approach based on previously described broad-range reverse transcription PCR/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (RT-PCR/ESI-MS) technology.
Analysis of base compositions of RT-PCR amplicons from influenza core gene segments (PB1, PB2, PA, M, NS, NP) are used to provide sub-species identification and infer influenza virus H and N subtypes. Using this approach, we detected and correctly identified 92 mammalian and avian influenza isolates, representing 30 different H and N types, including 29 avian H5N1 isolates. Further, direct analysis of 656 human clinical respiratory specimens collected over a seven-year period (1999-2006) showed correct identification of the viral species and subtypes with >97% sensitivity and specificity. Base composition derived clusters inferred from this analysis showed 100% concordance to previously established clades. Ongoing surveillance of samples from the recent influenza virus seasons (2005-2006) showed evidence for emergence and establishment of new genotypes of circulating H3N2 strains worldwide. Mixed viral quasispecies were found in approximately 1% of these recent samples providing a view into viral evolution.
Thus, rapid RT-PCR/ESI-MS analysis can be used to simultaneously identify all species of influenza viruses with clade-level resolution, identify mixed viral populations and monitor global spread and emergence of novel viral genotypes. This high-throughput method promises to become an integral component of influenza surveillance.
PLoS ONE 05/2007; 2(5):e489. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0000489 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a new approach to the sensitive and specific identification of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa based on broad-range PCR and high-performance mass spectrometry. The Ibis T5000 is based on technology developed for the Department of Defense known as T.I.G.E.R. (Triangulation Identification for the Genetic Evaluation of Risks) for pathogen surveillance. The technology uses mass spectrometry—derived base composition signatures obtained from PCR amplification of broadly conserved regions of the pathogen genomes to identify most organisms present in a sample. The process of sample analysis has been automated using a combination of commercially available and custom instrumentation. A software system known as T-Track manages the sample flow, signal analysis, and data interpretation and provides simplified result reports to the user. No specialized expertise is required to use the instrumentation. In addition to pathogen surveillance, the Ibis T5000 is being applied to reducing health care—associated infections (HAIs), emerging and pandemic disease surveillance, human forensics analysis, and pharmaceutical product and food safety, and will be used eventually in human infectious disease diagnosis. In this review, we describe the automated Ibis T5000 instrument and provide examples of how it is used in HAI control.
Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation 12/2006; 11(6):341-351. DOI:10.1016/j.jala.2006.09.001 · 1.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the genus Acinetobacter are ubiquitous in soil and water and are an important cause of nosocomial infections. A rapid method is needed to genotype Acinetobacter isolates to determine epidemiology and clonality during infectious outbreaks. Multilocus PCR followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) is a method that uses the amplicon base compositions to genotype bacterial species. In order to identify regions of the Acinetobacter genome useful for this method, we sequenced regions of six housekeeping genes (trpE, adk, efp, mutY, fumC, and ppa) from 267 isolates of Acinetobacter. Isolates were collected from infected and colonized soldiers and civilians involved in an outbreak in the military health care system associated with the conflict in Iraq, from previously characterized outbreaks in European hospitals, and from culture collections. Most of the isolates from the Iraqi conflict were Acinetobacter baumannii (189 of 216 isolates). Among these, 111 isolates had genotypes identical or very similar to those associated with well-characterized A. baumannii isolates from European hospitals. Twenty-seven isolates from the conflict were found to have genotypes representing different Acinetobacter species, including 8 representatives of Acinetobacter genomospecies 13TU and 13 representatives of Acinetobacter genomospecies 3. Analysis by the PCR/ESI-MS method using nine primer pairs targeting the most information-rich regions of the trpE, adk, mutY, fumC, and ppa genes distinguished 47 of the 48 A. baumannii genotypes identified by sequencing and identified at the species level at least 18 Acinetobacter species. Results obtained with our genotyping method were essentially in agreement with those obtained by pulse-field gel electrophoresis analysis. The PCR/ESI-MS genotyping method required 4 h of analysis time to first answer with additional samples subsequently analyzed every 10 min. This rapid analysis allows tracking of transmission for the implementation of appropriate infection control measures on a time scale previously not achievable.