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OBJECTIVES:We assessed the impact of MALDITOF-MS on the timeliness of optimal antimicrobial therapy through a parallel-arm randomised controlled trial in two hospitals in Vietnam. METHODS:We recruited patients with a pathogen (bacterial or fungal) cultured from a normally sterile sample. Samples were randomly assigned (1:1) to identification by MALDITOF-MS or conventional diagnostics. The primary outcome was the proportion on optimal antimicrobial therapy within 24 h of positive culture, determined by a blinded independent review committee. Trial registered at (NCT02306330). RESULTS:Among 1005 randomised patients, pathogens were isolated from 628 (326 intervention, 302 control), with 377 excluded as likely contaminants or discharged/died before positive culture. Most isolates were cultured from blood (421/628, 67.0%). The proportion receiving optimal antimicrobial therapy within 24 h (the primary outcome) or 48 h of growth was not significantly different between MALDITOF-MS and control arms (135/326, 41.4% vs 120/302, 39.7%; Adjusted Odds ration (AOR) 1.17, p = 0.40 and 151/326, 46.3% vs 141/302, 46.7%; AOR 1.05 p = 0.79, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:MALDITOF-MS, in the absence of an antimicrobial stewardship programme, did not improve the proportion on optimal antimicrobial therapy at 24 or 48 h after first growth in a lower-middle income setting with high rates of antibiotic resistance.

Original publication





The Journal of infection

Publication Date





454 - 460


Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. Electronic address: