Proteotyping bacteria: Characterization, differentiation and identification of pneumococcus and other species within the Mitis Group of the genus Streptococcus by tandem mass spectrometry proteomics
Journal article, 2018
A range of methodologies may be used for analyzing bacteria, depending on the purpose and the level of resolution needed. The capability for recognition of species distinctions within the complex spectrum of bacterial diversity is necessary for progress in microbiological research. In clinical settings, accurate, rapid and cost-effective methods are essential for early and efficient treatment of infections. Characterization and identification of microorganisms, using, bottom-up proteomics, or "proteotyping", relies on recognition of species-unique or associated peptides, by tandem mass spectrometry analyses, dependent upon an accurate and comprehensive foundation of genome sequence data, allowing for differentiation of species, at amino acid-level resolution. In this study, the high resolution and accuracy of MS/MS-based proteotyping was demonstrated, through analyses of the three phylogenetically and taxonomically most closely-related species of the Mitis Group of the genus Streptococcus: i.e., the pathogenic species, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), and the commensal species, Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae and Streptococcus mitis. To achieve high accuracy, a genome sequence database used for matching peptides was created and carefully curated. Here, MS-based, bottom-up proteotyping was observed and confirmed to attain the level of resolution necessary for differentiating and identifying the most-closely related bacterial species, as demonstrated by analyses of species of the Streptococcus Mitis Group, even when S. pneumoniae were mixed with S. pseudopneumoniae and S. mitis, by matching and identifying more than 200 unique peptides for each species.