Virus detection and/or identification traditionally rely on methods based on cell culture, electron microscopy and antigen or nucleic acid detection. These techniques are good, but often expensive and/or time-consuming; furthermore, they not always lead to virus identification at the species and/or type level. In this study, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was tested as an innovative tool to identify human polioviruses and to identify specific viral protein biomarkers in infected cells. The results revealed MALDI-TOFMSto be an effective and inexpensive tool for the identification of the three poliovirus serotypes. The method was firstly applied to Sabin reference strains, and then to isolates from different clinical samples, highlighting its value as a time-saving, sensitive and specific technique when compared to the gold standard neutralization assay and casting new light on its possible application to virus detection and/or identification.
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