History and Development of High Resolution Mass Spectrometry for Infectious Disease Diagnostics
This presentation will trace the continuing development of mass spectral techniques from a research tool to a frontline diagnostic platform for clinical microbiology. In Europe nearly every major hospital now utilises MALDI-MS for rapid identification of pathogens; both from agar plates and directly from blood cultures. The technique is increasingly being used for detecting antimicrobial resistance; these approaches are diversifying and being undertaken both by single and tandem MS/MS approaches. This long arduous route (from 1998) has paved the way for in-depth proteomic analysis of microbial pathogens using tandem mass spectrometry techniques. The current challenge is to develop these latter approaches, which are largely research tools, into a format that can be used in clinical laboratories. An attempt will be made show the potential public health impact of the new generation of mass spectrometers that have the power to harness the power of the proteome and convert them sound new applications.