PCR followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for broad-range identification of fungal pathogens

Christian Massire, Daelynn R. Buelow, Sean X. Zhang, Robert Lovari, Heather E. Matthews, Donna M. Toleno, Raymond R. Ranken, Thomas A. Hall, David Metzgar, Rangarajan Sampath, Lawrence B. Blyn, David J. Ecker, Zhengming Gu, Thomas J. Walsh, Randall T. Hayden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Invasive fungal infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients. Early and accurate identification of these pathogens is central to direct therapy and to improve overall outcome. PCR coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) was evaluated as a novel means for identification of fungal pathogens. Using a database grounded by 60 ATCC reference strains, a total of 394 clinical fungal isolates (264 molds and 130 yeasts) were analyzed by PCR/ESI-MS; results were compared to phenotypic identification, and discrepant results were sequence confirmed. PCR/ESI-MS identified 81.4% of molds to either the genus or species level, with concordance rates of 89.7% and 87.4%, respectively, to phenotypic identification. Likewise, PCR/ESI-MS was able to identify 98.4% of yeasts to either the genus or species level, agreeing with 100% of phenotypic results at both the genus and species level. PCR/ESI-MS performed best with Aspergillus and Candida isolates, generating species-level identification in 94.4% and 99.2% of isolates, respectively. PCR/ESI-MS is a promising new technology for broad-range detection and identification of medically important fungal pathogens that cause invasive mycoses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-966
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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