Identification of Mycoplasma spp. using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry
Mycoplasma spp. cause a variety of diseases in cattle including pneumonia, arthritis, and mastitis. Mycoplasma bovis, the most pathogenic species in cattle, has been shown to be accurately identified using Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. After confirming the identity of 13 Mycoplasma standard organisms, 35 Mycoplasma case isolates were run through MALDI-TOF. Of the 35 isolates, 13 had no reliable identification (NRID), 12 identified as M. bovis, and 9 identified as a non-M. bovis species. All 12 isolates identified as M. bovis were confirmed by an M. bovis-specific PCR, and 7 of the non-M. bovis isolates were confirmed M. bovis negative by the same M. bovis-specific PCR. It was concluded that with the current MALDI-TOF library, non-M. bovis isolates can be identified accurately 78% of the time. This useful tool will not only give results up to a week sooner than the current protocols, but will also reduce costs to the clients by up to $30 per isolate.