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Markers for discriminating Campylobacter concisus genomospecies using MALDI-TOF analysis

Abstract

Strains identified as Campylobacter concisus may belong to one of at least two biochemically indistinguishable, but genomically distinct, groups referred to as “genomospecies” that may differ in their pathogenic and zoonotic potential. Reliable, affordable and available identification methods are required to improve understanding of their significance in human illness. We examined the potential for MALDI-TOF MS, increasingly used in routine laboratories, for this task. Nineteen well-characterised strains were examined using a widely used MALDI-TOF MS commercial system, however only one strain confidently identified using their database. Data mining of the spectra obtained revealed a number of markers that could be used to help discriminate these genomospecies. We conclude that careful application of MALDI-TOF analysis could be useful to determine the role and significance of diverse C. concisus genomospecies in human disease.

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