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Bruker, UMCG Collaborating on Anaerobic Bacteria Identification Using MALDI Biotyper

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bruker this weekend announced a collaboration with University Medical Center Groningen for the identification of anaerobic bacteria using the company's MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry-based MALDI Biotyper system.

The partnership, which the company announced Saturday at the annual European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in London, is part of the recently initiated European Network for Rapid Identification of Anaerobes, or ENRIA.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not provided.

Coordinated by the UMCG and the Hungarian Reference Laboratory for Anaerobic Infections at the University of Szeged, ENRIA aims to establish a collection of well-characterized anaerobic strains containing the most important anaerobic species. The collection will include proteomic reference spectra from these strains, which will be added to Bruker's MALDI Biotyper database, enabling their identification by the Bruker system.

ENRIA will also offer workshops on standardization of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for the identification of anaerobic bacteria.

In a statement, Alex Friedrich, chair of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control at UMCG said that the "MALDI Biotyper method of using proteomic fingerprints for MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry-based microbial identification is of special interest for anaerobic bacteria, as they are typically slow growing and inactive in biochemical tests."

Biochemical- and PCR-based testing have traditionally dominated the bacteria identification market, but in recent years researchers and clinicians have begun exploring proteomic techniques – most commonly MALDI-MS – for this purpose.

The MALDI Biotyper identifies bacteria by matching their protein fingerprints against fingerprints contained in Bruker's proprietary database. The company launched the platform in Europe in 2006 and has since installed more than 250 of the devices worldwide. The device received an IVD-CE mark from the EU in 2009 and Health Canada approval in 2011.

Bruker also plans to submit the device to the US Food and Drug Administration for 510(k) clearance, which it expects to receive by the end of the year.

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