• Careers
  • Support
Gloved hand holding petri dish containing red and yellow bacteria cultures.

Implementation of the VITEK-MS and its Use in Microbial Identification

October 01, 2015, at 12:00 PM ET


The rapid identification of microorganisms is a great advantage for industrial and clinical laboratories. In the 150 year history of microbial identification, many techniques have been used to authenticate microorganisms, including biochemical analyses, sequencing, and functional testing. The techniques vary in turnaround time, complexity, accuracy, and specificity. The VITEK-MS is a recent addition to the arsenal of identification technologies. It brings to the field a very simple user interface, rapid turnaround times, and flexibility in expanding a database to suit the user’s needs. In this webinar, we will discuss current methods of microbial identification and how VITEK-MS compares to these methods with regard to complexity, turnaround time, sample preparation, and ease of interpretation.


Katalin Kiss, headshot.

Katalin Kiss, PhD

Manager, Scientist, Laboratory Testing Services, ATCC


Questions and Answers

Along with the specific temperature requirements for the machine, is it best to have a separate designated room? Or, could it be placed in a larger working laboratory?

The VITEK MS can be housed either in a separate designated room or in a larger working laboratory as long as the temperature can be properly maintained.

Approximately how much time does it take to train someone to use the VITEK MS (bioMérieux)?

Training can go very quickly; however, users will need to practice their technique. ATCC recommends that novice users spot samples in duplicate as the first spot tends to be too heavy.

During your discussion of how ATCC cultures organisms for identification, you highlighted that selective media use is avoided. Can you elaborate why you do not use selective media?

Selective media may be bacteriostatic, which will stop contaminating bacteria from reproducing while not necessarily killing them. Use of this type of media to passage bacteria may hide a cryptic contamination that is not seen until the material is passaged to an enriched media. All contaminated material should be properly disposed of.

Does ATCC verify the supplied bacterial specimen by genetic testing if the strain is in doubt by clients?

If there is a customer inquiry, ATCC will investigate using both genetic and phenotypic identification. Some serotype assays are not performed at ATCC and are examined by external testing.

How long has ATCC been using the VITEK MS?

ATCC has possessed the machine for two years and has begun to add the resulting data to our Certificates of Analysis during the past year.

Is the VITEK MS available outside of the United States?

Yes, this technology is available outside of the United States.

What is the name of the database that has over 2000+ species characterized?

You must log onto your bioMérieux account and search in the User Manual Supplements Knowledge base documents. You must look in both the Clinical Use System and RUO systems.

Would you please discuss the identification of Listeria species?

To date, we have run 5 samples of Listeria monocytogenes against the clinical use database. Each strain was identified with 99.9% confidence. We have not run any other species of the genus Listeria.