ALS Environmental are one of the first UK laboratories to validate and UKAS ISO 17025 accredit the rapid identification of positive Legionella and Microbiological samples by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption and Ionisation by Time of Flight (MALDI-ToF) Mass Spectrometry. The ground breaking identification technique employed by ALS Environmental, known as MALDI-ToF technology, allows us to remove the need for presumptive data for Legionella and all other bacteriological analysis, with all data reported as Colony Forming Units (CFU).
The impact of MALDI-ToF confirmation is highlighted in the table below:
|Bacteria||Incubation Time||Confirmation: Traditional||Confirmation: MALDI-ToF||MALDI-ToF Saving|
|Legionella||10 days||2 days||Minutes||2 days|
|Pseudomonas aeruginosa||2 days||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|E-coli||1 day||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|Coliforms||1 day||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|Enterococci||2 days||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|Clostridium Perfringens||1 day||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|Staphylococcus aureus||2 days||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|Salmonella||4 days||2 days||Minutes||2 days|
|Listeria||4 days||2 days||Minutes||2 days|
|Stenotrophomonas||1 day||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
|Enterobacteriaceae||1 day||1 day||Minutes||1 day|
The development of the MALDI-ToF has seen ALS characterise one of the worlds largest culture collections for Legionella Species. The instrument is currently able to detect over 3000 different bacteria and fungi species from a range of genus. In addition the technology allows ALS to continually expand our own databases by purchasing reference cultures, adding to the instrument library; if the protein structure is unique then we are able to analyse for this at a species level.
The MALDI-ToF confirmation approach has been reviewed by both the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). The MALDI-ToF utilises the standard ISO11731 culture method for Legionella with a rapid confirmation at the standard read points, meaning that our customers receive a fully accredited Colony Forming Units per Litre (CFU/L) result with a full speciation in over 98% of instances.
ALS Environmental won the Combating Legionella Supplier of the year award for our efforts and developments in MALDI-ToF Innovation.