Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis Mass Spectrometry of ESKAPE Pathogens


Authors: University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


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%.

LESA-MS was performed using the Advion TriVersa NanoMate.