Bacteria characterization in ballast water using MALDI-TOF MS

Today, 22 March, is the World Water Day. It was created by the United Nations in 1993 to highlight the importance of fresh water, a resource that is not as reachable as it seems, unfortunately. It is essential for sustainable development and it plays a key role in poverty reduction, economic growth and the well-being of the population.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 2 billion people use a contaminated drinking water source, and 844 million people lack even a basic drinking water service. This information should make us aware of how relevant it is to protect water and not to waste it.

Mass spectrometry can do its bit in order to reach that goal. There are many studies that get assisted by this technique to identify, quantify, characterize or monitore pollutant substances in water. For example, the following paper evaluates a rapid and cost-effective method for monitoring bacteria in ballast water (used in maritime navigation to stabilize the ship) using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.