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 Disportion and Ionistation 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 bacterialogical 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 10,000 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 devloped over a number of years and both the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) were consulted throughout the process. The MALDI-ToF utilises the standard ISO11731 culture method for Legionella with a rapid confirmation at the standard read points, meaning that our customers recieve a fully accredited Colony Forming Units per Litre (CFU/L) result with a full speciation in over 98% of instances.