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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 34, Number 9
BKCSDE 34(9)
September 20, 2013 

Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
Young-Su Jeong* Jonghee Lee, Seong-Joo Kim
Spore, Bacillus, Anthrax, MALDI-TOF MS, Direct in-situ analysis
The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and withingroups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field.
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