Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was compared to conventional biochemical testing methods and nucleic acid analyses (16S rDNA sequencing, hippurate hydrolysis gene testing, whole genome sequencing [WGS]) for species identification of Campylobacter isolates obtained from chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus, n = 8), American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos, n = 17), a mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos, n = 1), and a western scrub-jay (Aphelocoma californica, n = 1). The test results for all 27 isolates were in 100% agreement between MALDI-TOF MS, the combined results of 16S rDNA sequencing, and the hippurate hydrolysis gene PCR (p = 0.0027, kappa = 1). Likewise, the identifications derived from WGS from a subset of 14 isolates were in 100% agreement with the MALDI-TOF MS identification. In contrast, biochemical testing misclassified 5 isolates of C. jejuni as C. coli, and 16S rDNA sequencing alone was not able to differentiate between C. coli and C. jejuni for 11 sequences (p = 0.1573, kappa = 0.0857) when compared to MALDI-TOF MS and WGS. No agreement was observed between MALDI-TOF MS dendrograms and the phylogenetic relationships revealed by rDNA sequencing or WGS. Our results confirm that MALDI-TOF MS is a fast and reliable method for identifying Campylobacter isolates to the species level from wild birds and chickens, but not for elucidating phylogenetic relationships among Campylobacter isolates.
- matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry
- wild birds
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