Liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry of ESKAPE pathogens

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The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter cloacae) represent clinically important bacterial species that are responsible for most hospital-acquired drug-resistant infections; hence, the need for rapid identification is of high importance. Previous work has demonstrated the suitability of liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry (LESA MS) for the direct analysis of colonies of two of the ESKAPE pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) growing on agar. Here, we apply LESA MS to the remaining four ESKAPE species (E. faecium E745, K. pneumoniae KP257, A. baumannii AYE, and E. cloacae S11) as well as E. faecalis V583 (a close relative of E. faecium) and a clinical isolate of A. baumannii AC02 using an optimized solvent sampling system. In each case, top-down LESA MS/MS was employed for protein identification. In total, 24 proteins were identified from 37 MS/MS spectra by searching against protein databases for the individual species. The MS/MS spectra for the identified proteins were subsequently searched against multiple databases from multiple species in an automated data analysis workflow with a view to determining the accuracy of identification of unknowns. Out of 24 proteins, 19 were correctly assigned at the protein and species level, corresponding to an identification success rate of 79%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345-1351
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number6
Early online date1 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
H.J.C. is an EPSRC Established Career Fellow (EP/L023490/1 and EP/S002979/1). J.H. is funded by the EPSRC Physical Sciences for Health Doctoral Training Centre (EP/L016346/1). The Advion Triversa Nanomate and Thermo Fisher Orbitrap Elite mass spectrometer used in this research were funded through Birmingham Science City Translational Medicine, Experimental Medicine Network of Excellence Project with support from Advantage West Midlands.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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