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Advanced Equipment for Express Microbial Identification under Operation at UMHAT "St. Marina" – Varna

Advanced equipment for express microbial identification is under operation in the Microbiology Laboratory of UMHAT "St. Marina" – Varna. An undeniable advantage of the new system is the possibility for direct identification of bacteria and fungi in positive blood samples, without the need for pre-isolation of micro-organisms in artificial nutrient media. Moreover, the equipment completes the microbial identification in blood cultures for about 20 minutes. This makes it possible to prove the specific microbial causative agent very early in time and to make an accurate diagnosis of life-threatening diseases in critically ill patients, including cancer and post-transplant patients, in whom even the hours are vital for the outcome of the disease.  This innovative method allows to prescribe antibiotic treatment tailored to the microbial identification before receiving the result of the antibiogram (ABG). Due to this equipment the standard diagnosis time is drastically shortened by 24 to 48 hours, while providing a high-quality result that determines timely selection and adequate antibiotic therapy. Thus, the routine use of the apparatus in the University Hospital has the effect of improving patient outcomes, reducing the use of inappropriate broad-spectrum antibiotics, reducing hospital stays and costs, especially those for antibiotics.

 MALDI TOF MS (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization - Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry) was purchased by Medical University – Varna in 2021 for the needs of the Microbiology Laboratory of University Hospital "St. Marina" in Varna.  Using mass spectrometry and high-frequency laser, this technology is defined as a revolution in microbiological diagnostic practice, as it offers an express and very high quality result at an acceptable price for a single sample. 

The use of automated systems and the integrated MALDI TOF apparatus at the Microbiology Laboratory of UMHAT "St. Marina" – Varna enables the Lab to perform diagnostic activities at the highest level and places it among the leading microbiological laboratories in Europe.