VITEK® MS: Healthcare

Routine is now Extraordinary

VITEK MS provides ultra- rapid results:

Deposit a cultured microorganism on a target slide, add the ready-to-use matrix solution and insert slide into the VITEK MS system. Actionable results are reported within minutes.


VITEK MS is an automated microbial identification system that provides identification results in minutes using an innovative mass spectrometry technology — Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight, or MALDI-TOF. VITEK MS is the latest addition to bioMérieux’s product portfolio of microbial Identification (ID) and Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing (AST) solutions.  The system is an integral part of the bioMérieux Microbiology Pathway.

The synergy of VITEK MS, VITEK® 2, ETEST® and MYLA® is among the industry’s most comprehensive solutions for microbial identification and antibiotic susceptibility for addressing today’s laboratory’s needs. The integration of systems ensures optimal efficiency, full sample traceability and quality results you can trust. MYLA, the web-based laboratory informatics solution, provides rich connectivity between identification with VITEK MS and antibiotic susceptibility testing with VITEK 2, while enhancing information and workflow management.

VITEK MS offers security and traceability:

The VITEK MS is 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant, and with the VITEK® Prep Station, it securely links unique specimen information to each spot on the target slide. Unique barcodes on the plated media and the VITEK MS target slides ensure complete workflow traceability.

VITEK MS for accurate bacterial identification:

The FDA 510(k) cleared VITEK MS database contains 193 clinically relevant microorganisms and was developed with organisms from multiple regions, countries, sources and environments for enhanced coverage of strain variation. A proprietary algorithm to analyze mass spectra vastly increases the accuracy of identification.

VITEK MS for easy integration:

VITEK MS can be easily integrated in today's clinical microbiology laboratories with either centralized or decentralized workflows by utilizing its unique VITEK MS Prep Station. This allows multiple users to work in parallel by preparing their own target slides with the capability to identify up to 192 isolates in a single run.

Complete ID/AST Solution

Improve workflow efficiency and enhance technology for microbiology labs of all sizes. Acquire, interpret, and report test results with unparalleled speed, precision, and accuracy. Connect with VITEK® 2 for same day ID and AST result reporting.

Microbial Identification in Minutes

VITEK MS brings a new innovation for microbial identification that allows organism species identification within minutes. Using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization - Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) technology, organism proteins are analyzed to generate unique fingerprint patterns that are matched against a comprehensive database comprised of clinically relevant organisms. The database is built using extensive analysis of a vast number of different strains, organisms grown under various conditions and at different stages of growth.

Optimized for integration & efficiency

VITEK MS offers a parallel, multi-station workflow to enhance efficiency and flexibility. Its 4-slide capacity enables technologists at separate workstations to work simultaneously. With 48 sample slots per target slide, a total of up to 192 isolates can be tested in a single run.



  1. Pick isolated colony from a culture plate and apply to an assigned spot on the target slide.
  2. Add 1 ul of ready-to-use matrix solution and air-dry.*
  3. Load up to 4 prepared target slides in the slide carrier.
  4. A protein mass spectrum is generated and automatically compared to the database.

*For yeast, formic acid is added first.

Resolution & sensitivity deliver high quality results

bioMerieux's proprietary algorithm – Advance Spectra Classifier* (ASC) - uses a weighted bin matrix to build the Knowledge Base reference strain database. The knowledge base includes data representing 755 taxa, including 645 bacteria and 110 fungi. There are on average 40 reference spectra per species covering strain variation, media types and growing conditions. To create the bin matrix, reference spectra for all species are divided in 1,300 pre-defined bins and bin weights are calculated based the presence or absence of a peak in a bin and whether this is specific for a certain species compared to all other species in the database.

Once a spectrum is generated from the test sample, the raw data are processed to eliminate baseline values and noise so that significant peaks can be detected. The spectra is then divided in the 1,300 bins and the peak patterns are compared with those for all species in the knowledge base. By computing the sum of the bin weights against all species in the database a relative score is generated and converted to a probability percentage and confidence value. This binning algorithm enables unambiguous identification of an organism with a confidence level greater than 99%.

The approach of analyzing 1,300 data points of each spectrum rather than comparing spectral patterns is very robust for high confidence identification and differentiation of species that have a very closely related protein content and spectral profile. The process enables fast analysis time and improved accuracy over existing methods.

*Patent Pending

Identification results are reported with an easy-to-read, color-coded screen:

  Results have a strong match and are ready to report

  Results have low discrimination and require further review

  Low-quality results with no identification made

Target slides deliver flexibility, traceability, & confidence

  • Target slide can test up to 48 isolates per run
  • Target slides have 3 aquisition areas, each with its own QC spot
  • Uniquely barcoded to enhance sample to result traceability
  • Slides are disposable to eliminate cleaning and avoid sample contamination
  • All sample preparation steps are performed directly on the target slide

Connectivity & Integration

  • Parallel, remote, multi-user access
  • Traceability connects ID and AST from individual isolates
  • Consistent nomenclature in VITEK MS and VITEK 2 assures proper result interpretation

Superior Resolution

  • Long flight tube delivers high resolution spectra
  • Dual vacuum system provides greater reliability
  • Robust and discriminating database
  • Low percentage of inaccurate identification

The VITEK MS technology enables:

  • Simple on slide sample preparation of intact cells without the need for additional extraction or purification steps
  • High throughput with analysis of up to 192 isolates in a single run
  • Flexibility in workflow with multiple remote sample preparation station and ability to load up to 4 target slides
  • High resolution protein mass spectra
  • Full traceability from sample setup through final results with MYLA® middleware solution.




Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique for determining the elemental composition of a sample. The MS principle consists of ionizing compounds to generate charged molecules and to measure their mass-to-charge ratio. Such molecular “signatures” can be used for rapid bacterial identification (ID) from isolated colonies. 


VITEK MS is an automated mass spectrometry and software system used for rapid microbial identification.  Using MALDI-TOF, it has quickly become state-of-the-art technology for identification of bacteria and yeast in clinical microbiology laboratories. Key benefits include its rapid time to result (in minutes), capacity to work with small samples, improved workflow, and – perhaps most importantly – more specific, reliable and accurate results. It’s no surprise that it’s been described as one of the most exciting changes in microbiology since automated blood culture.

How does it work?

MALDI-TOF principles are simple. Once the sample slide has been prepared, it is introduced into a high vacuum environment. The sample is ionized with a precise laser burst, releasing a “cloud” of proteins. These proteins are accelerated in a flight tube using an electric charge, and the time of flight is recorded; lighter proteins travel faster, heavier proteins travel slower. At the end of their travel, the proteins are detected with a sensor, which creates a spectrum representing the protein makeup of each sample. By comparing the spectrum from a particular sample against a large database of spectra from precisely characterized bacteria and fungi, identifications can be made at the species, genus and family level. The entire sample acquisition process and mass spectrum generation takes about 30 seconds.

Rapid Reporting

Delivering outstanding, cost-effective care to your patients is highly dependent on your physician’s ability to access the right information at the right time.

MYLA® can help address the need for increased quality of care for better patient outcomes and reduced cost of care by delivering immediate notifications for faster time to results and correct therapy. Data can also be supplied on antibiotic trending reports that can be beneficial for the pharmacy and clinicians.

A clear, structured presentation of identification results puts all the necessary details at your fingertips, even if you’re working remotely. All of this information is almost instantly available for application in clinically useful ways – leading directly to the opportunity for enhanced patient care.

Easy-to-read, color-coded graphics present the degree of quality and confidence for each ID result.

  Results have a strong match and are ready to report

  Results have low discrimination and require further review

  Low-quality results with no identification made

VITEK MS connects directly to both VITEK® 2 and MYLA without having to go through the LIS. VITEK MS and VITEK work together, using the same nomenclature, so that VITEK 2 is instantly able to recognize an organism identified by VITEK MS and begin susceptibility testing. Through MYLA, VITEK 2 and VITEK MS results are consolidated and reported.

“Mass spec represents a true revolution in microbiology lab automation because it provides a true automated link between the pre-analytic and post-analytic stages. We finally have an option to complete the automation circuit in the microbiology lab for both the testing of samples, but also the reporting of those results.”

Yun F. (Wayne) Wang, MBBS, Ph.D.
Director of Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Diagnostics
Grady Health System, Atlanta, GA

Installation Requirements

  • Workspace (w x h x d): 8 ft. x 8 ft. x 3 ft. 2 in.
  • Floor loading: 123 lbs/ft.2

Physical Specifications

VITEK MS Instrument
Height 6 ft. 4 in.
Width 2 ft. 6 in.
Depth 2 ft. 10 in.
Weight 805 lbs.
Power 4.3 amps @ 220 vac
Heat dissipated 3412 BTU/HR


VITEK MS Peripherals
VITEK MS Acquisition Station 1.7 amps @ 120 vac
VITEK MS Prep Station (with cassette docking station) 1.7 amps @ 120 vac
MYLA Server Computer 1.7 amps @ 120 vac
Monitor x2 0.3 amps @ 120 vac
Heat dissipated (MYLA Server) 1773 BTU/HR
Heat dissipated (per PC system) 388 BTU/HR


Components & Disposables

The VITEK MS instrument is a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF MS) for rapid microorganism identification from clinical cultures.

The VITEK® MS Prep Station

The VITEK MS Prep Station identifies target slides and assigns spots for sample deposits prior to testing on the VITEK MS instrument. In addition, the Prep Station can be used to set up and identify AST cards for testing on the VITEK 2 instrument*.

*VITEK 2 instrument and accompanying reagents and disposables are needed for AST testing

VITEK MS Consumables and Reagents

The VITEK MS uses disposable, uniquely barcoded target slides for sample deposition. The VITEK® MSCHCA matrix and the VITEK® MS-FA are ready to use reagents for the on slide sample preparation. FA is only used to pretreat yeast.


The VITEK® MS Acquisition Station

The VITEK MS Acquisition Station is directly connected to the VITEK MS instrument. It displays the status of the tests and the instrument.  It acquires the sample spectra data and sends data for analysis to the MYLA server.



MYLA is a middleware solution that allows data obtained from the VITEK MS and VITEK 2 to be linked and sent to the LIS.  MYLA provides intelligent integration, effective workflow management, intuitive analytics, has a simple dashboard-driven interface, and is accessible from any secured device allowed by your organization.


CAP Today: Triple Play in Lab's MALDI-TOF Efforts
College of American Pathologists, January 2013

MALDI-TOF MS: Mass Spectrometry’s Potential for Personalized Medicine, by Nedal Safwat Ph.D.
Clinical Lab Products (CLP), April 2012

Microbiology automation 
March 2013 
Richard L. Wong, CLS, MT(ASCP)

In Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 innovations: mass spec for bacterial ID 
November 2012 

Selected Publications

Performance of the Vitek MS v2.0 System in Distinguishing Streptococcus pneumoniae from Nonpneumococcal Species of the Streptococcus mitis Group
Branda JA, Markham RP, Garner CD, Rychert JA, Ferraro MJ.

Multi-center evaluation of mass spectrometric identification of anaerobic bacteria using the VITEK® MS system.
Garner O, Mochon A, Branda J, Burnham CA, Bythrow M, Ferraro M, Ginocchio C, Jennemann R, Manji R, Procop GW, Richter S, Rychert J, Sercia L, Westblade L, Lewinski M.
CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY AND INFECTION 2013 Aug 9. DOI: 10.1111/1469-0691.12317

Identification of Enterobacteriaceae by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry using the VITEK MS system.
Richter SS, Sercia L, Branda JA, Burnham CA, Bythrow M, Ferraro MJ, Garner OB, Ginocchio CC, Jennemann R, Lewinski MA, Manji R, Mochon AB, Rychert JA, Westblade LF, Procop GW.

Multicenter study evaluating the Vitek MS system for identification of medically important yeasts.
Westblade LF, Jennemann R, Branda JA, Bythrow M, Ferraro MJ, Garner OB, Ginocchio CC, Lewinski MA, Manji R, Mochon AB, Procop GW, Richter SS, Rychert JA, Sercia L, Burnham CA.

Multicenter evaluation of the Vitek MS matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry system for identification of Gram-positive aerobic bacteria.
Rychert J, Burnham CA, Bythrow M, Garner OB, Ginocchio CC, Jennemann R, Lewinski MA, Manji R, Mochon AB, Procop GW, Richter SS, Sercia L, Westblade LF, Ferraro MJ, Branda JA.

Supplemental Material - Organism identification using the VITEK® MS v2.0 system.
Rychert J, Burnham CD, Bythrow M, Garner OB, Ginocchio CC, Jennemann R, Lewinski MA, Manji R, Mochon A, Procop GW, Richter SS, Sercia L, Westblade LF, Ferraro MJ, Branda JA.

Multi-center evaluation of the VITEK® MS system for mass spectrometric identification of non-Enterobacteriaceae Gram-negative bacilli.
Manji R, Bythrow M, Branda JA, Burnham CA, Ferraro MJ, Garner OB, Jennemann R, Lewinski MA, Mochon AB, Procop GW, Richter SS, Rychert JA, Sercia L, Westblade LF, Ginocchio CC.

Multicenter validation of the VITEK® MS v2.0 MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry system for the identification of fastidious gram-negative bacteria.
Branda JA, Rychert J, Burnham CA, Bythrow M, Garner OB, Ginocchio CC, Jennemann R, Lewinski MA, Manji R, Mochon AB, Procop GW, Richter SS, Sercia LF, Westblade LF, Ferraro MJ.

Assessment of Reproducibility of Matrix-Assisted Lase Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial and Yeast Identification
Westblade LF, Garner OB, MacDonald K, Bradford C, Pincus DH, Mochon AB, Jennemann R, Manji R, Bythrow M, Lewinski MA, Burham CA, Ginocchio CC.

Pioneering diagnostics