Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Microbiological Methods 173 (2020) 105942


© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license


Moraxella bovoculi is the most frequently isolated bacteria from the eyes of cattle with Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), also known as bovine pinkeye. Two distinct genotypes of M. bovoculi, genotype 1 and genotype 2, were characterized after whole genome sequencing showed a large degree of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) diversity within the species. To date, both genotypes have been isolated from the eyes of cattle without clinical signs of IBK while only genotype 1 strains have been isolated from the eyes of cattle with clinical signs of IBK. We used 38 known genotype 1 strains and 26 known genotype 2 strains to assess the ability of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to accurately genotype M. bovoculi strains using mass spectrum biomarkers. Mass spectrum data was analyzed with ClinProTools 3.0 software and six models were developed that classify strain genotypes with accuracies ranging from 90.6% - 100%. Finally, using four of the most genotype-specific peaks that also exhibited high peak intensities from the six automated models, we developed a customized model (UNL assisted model) that had recognition capability, validation, and classification accuracies of 100% for genotype classification. Our results indicate that MALDI-TOF MS biomarkers can be used to accurately discriminate genotypes of M. bovoculi without the need for additional methods.