The present invention is concerned with a method of identifying microbial strains (e.g. from a cell culture), the process comprising; I) that a lipid extraction step, comprising extraction of phospholipids from the microbe, suitably using an extraction composition comprising greater than 50 vol% MeOH; 50 ) a sample preparation step, comprising preparation of a MALDI sample incorporating the extracted lipids; iii) a information collecting step, comprising performing MALDI-based mass spectrometry on the MALDI sample, and iv) that a microbe identification step, comprising analysis of the mass spectrometry data to characterise or identify the parasitic strain. Suitably the process also includes extracting proteins from the microbes and supplementing with the extracted proteins using MALDI-based mass spectrometry in order to obtain not just lipid m/z data but also protein m/z data.
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It’s desirable to swiftly and easily, reliably identify germs. Reliable identification allows the pathogenicity and/or additional features of a microbial sample to be identified. Determining the biomolecule make-up of a microbe canassist in diagnosis and hence diagnosis.
Mass spectrometry may be used to analyse biomolecules, typically utilizing soft ionization techniques. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/lonization (MALDI)-MS is one such technique, and has been broadly used in the evaluation of large biomoleculesincluding proteins. Protein fingerprinting has enabled the use of MALDI-MS for microbial identification and diagnostics.
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