Most identification tests used in the diagnosis of microorganisms are labour-intensive and
time consuming. A new technology based on mass spectrometry named Matrix assisted laser
desorption / ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) provides rapid
identification of micro organisms from different origins. MALDI-TOF-MS is characterized by
easy sample preparation, high sensitivity and high accuracy. Furthermore, small amount of
sample are needed without time consuming. The microorganism e.g. fungi were cultivated on
agar plates, then samples were collected directly from the agar plate to nourishing media,
mixed with matrix, dried in air and introduced into the MALDI-TOF-MS for analysis. The
spectra, which obtained were analysed, weather there are characteristic for every fungal
species and strains respectively.
In this work we studied the efficiency of MALDI-TOF-MS in the characterization and
fingerprinting of thirty five isolates of Fungi on the basis of biomarker ions. We used α-
cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid as matrix, which proof to give good mass spectra.
Additionally, the effect of colony age on the mass spectra was investigated. We have found
that the age of fungal colonies have no effect on mass spectral finger prints. Furthermore, the
reproducibility and repeatability of spectra were investigated. It was found that the spectra
were highly reproducible.
According to the results of this study, MALDI-TOF-MS is only in some cases efficient for
the characterization and fingerprinting of fungi. On the species level, biomarker ions, which
obtained from this study made the differentiation between some aspergillus species possible
(A. flavus, A. ochreseus, A. eucalypticola, A. carbonarius and A. awamori). However, in the
case of A. niger, A. neoniger and A. tubingensi, A. brasiliensis, A. foetidus, A. piperis, A.
vodensis, A. costariaeuis, A. bacticoflavus it was not possible to differentiate within and
between the isolates of the species due to absence of appropriate biomarker ions.