Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption and Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has gained more and more popularity for the identification of bacteria. Several studies show that bacterial diagnosticis is being revolutionized by the application of MALDI-TOF MS. For anaerobic bacteria, MALDI-TOF MS has been used for the identification of Prevotella spp., Fusobacterium spp., Clostridium spp., Bacteroides spp. and Gram-positive anaerobic cocci. However, to identify bacteria reliably, an extensive database is essential. For routine identification of anaerobic bacteria available databases need to be optimised. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.