BACKGROUND Matrix-Assisted Laser-Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has already proven to be a powerful tool for species identification in microbiological laboratories. As adequate and rapid screening methods for antibiotic resistance are crucially needed, the present study investigated the discrimination potential of MALDI-TOF MS among extended-spectrum-beta-lactamase (ESBL) or metallo-beta-lactamases- (MBL) producing and the nonproducing strains of Escherichia coli (n=19), Klebsiella pneumoniae (n=19), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=38), respectively. MATERIAL/METHODS We used a MALDI-TOF MS protocol, usually applied for species identification, in order to integrate a screening method for beta-lactamases into the routine species identification workflow. The acquired spectra were analyzed by visual inspection, statistical similarity analysis and support vector machine (SVM) classification algorithms. RESULTS Neither visual inspection nor mathematical similarity analysis allowed discrimination between spectra of beta-lactamase-producing and the nonproducing strains, but classification within a species by SVM-based algorithms could achieve a correct classification rate of up to 70%. CONCLUSIONS This shows that MALDI-TOF MS has definite potential to discriminate antibiotic-resistant strains due to ESBL and MBL production from nonproducing strains, but this performance is not yet sufficiently reliable for routine microbiological diagnostics.