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Differentiation of species of the Streptococcus bovis/equinus-complex by MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry in comparison to sodA sequence analyses

Journal article
Authors D Hinse
T Vollmer
M Erhard
M Welker
Edward R.B. Moore
K Kleesiek
J Dreier
Published in Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 52-57
ISSN 0723-2020
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 52-57
Language en
Keywords Streptococcus, S. bovis/equinus-complex, MALDI-TOF, mass spectrometry, sodA sequence, microbial taxonomy
Subject categories Spectroscopy, Molecular biology, Microbiology


The Streptococcus bovis/equinus complex is a heterogeneous group within the group D streptococci with important clinical relevance regarding infective endocarditis, sepsis and colon carcinoma. The taxonomic identification of species and sub-species of this complex, by the standard methods remains difficult. In the present study, we compared the cluster analysis of 88 strains of species of the S. bovis/equinus complex by sequence analysis of the manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase gene (sodA) and by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time Of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). We observed a high congruence of strain grouping by MALDI-TOF MS in comparison with sodA sequence analyses, demonstrating the accuracy and reliability of MALDI-TOF MS in comparison to DNA sequencebased method. By generating mass spectra for each species and sub-species, we were able to discriminate all members of the S. bovis/equinus complex. Furthermore,wedemonstrated reliable identifications to the species level by MALDI-TOF MS, independently of cultivation conditions.

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