Rapid Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing of Gram-Negative Bacteria Directly from Urine Samples of UTI Patients Using MALDI-TOF MS

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common human infections and are most often caused by Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli . In view of the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant isolates, rapidly initiating effective antibiotic therapy is essential. Therefore, a faster antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) is desirable. The MALDI-TOF MS-based phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test (MALDI AST) has been used in blood culture diagnostics to rapidly detect antibiotic susceptibility. This study demonstrates for the first time that MALDI AST can be used to rapidly determine antibiotic susceptibility in UTIs directly from patients’ urine samples. MALDI-TOF MS enables the rapid identification and AST of Gram-negative UTIs within 4.5 h of receiving urine samples. Six urinary tract infection antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, cotrimoxazole, fosfomycin, meropenem, cefuroxime, and nitrofurantoin, were analyzed and compared with conventional culture-based AST methods. A total of 105 urine samples from UTI patients contained bacterial isolates for MALDI AST. The combination of ID and AST by MALDI-TOF allowed us to interpret the result according to EUCAST guidelines. An overall agreement of 94.7% was found between MALDI AST and conventional AST for the urinary tract pathogens tested.


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