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In the European Union, no limits are fixed for sulfonamides in honey since it should contain "zero" levels of antimicrobials

12 January 2012

The demand for broad-range immunoassays is increasing in order to detect whole families of drug residues in food and feed.
I’Screen SULFA: a new ELISA test kit for the quantitative detection of 15 sulfonamides. The kit has been validated for milk, swine and bovine muscle, eggs, honey and feed.

Sulfonamides are a group of broad antibacterial drugs widely used in veterinary medicine for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes in the treatment of bacterial and protozoal infections. They are also used as growth-promoting feed additives. As a consequence, residues can be present in food from animal origin, and allergic reactions, hepato- and nefrotoxicity, selection of resistant bacteria could arise in exposed consumers.

Maximum residue limits (MRLs) for sulfonamides have been established in many countries. In the European Union, in the USA and in Canada an MRL of 100 mg/Kg was set for total sulfonamides in edible tissue and in milk, while the use of these antibiotics is unauthorised in eggs producing animals. No limits were fixed for honey, that should contain “zero” level of antimicrobials.

In response to the increasing request of new screening methods for rapid detection of a number of sulfonamides toghether, Tecna R&D group developed and validated a new ELISA kit for qualitative detection of fifteen main sulfonamides in meat, honey, eggs and milk. Two sample preparation procedures have been developed for meat, honey, eggs and milk: the “high sensitivity” protocol enables to detect very low concentration of sulphonamides, while the “solvent free” preparation is designed to be easier, cheaper and faster. A specific preparation for feed has been developed and validated in collaboration with the Italian Public Laboratory ‘Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Umbria e delle Marche’. Each matrix preparation has been validated according to the European Legislation. The sensitivity was experimentally set for at least one of the less cross-reacting compounds: this way a higher sensitivity for the higher cross-reacting sulfonamides was ensured. The Performance Data Sheet containing the validation dossier for each matrix is available on demand; please contact export@tecnalab.com.