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Characteristics of the LacTek Test as Applied to Tissue Samples: Assessment of Performance Using Incurred Field Samples

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The Lactek test, marketed for antimicrobial residue detection in milk, was validated for the detection of antimicrobial residues in tissues. A previous study found that the LacTek test could confidently identify tissue samples spiked with antimicrobial residues. However, the test could not reliably distinguish violative from nonviolative spiked samples relative to Canadian maximum residue limits (MRLs). The objectives of this study were to assess and compare the performance of the LacTek tests for β-lactams, tetracyclines, gentamicin, and sulfamethazine on samples containing naturally incurred residues by running the test in parallel with the standard microbial inhibition test (MIT) presently used for the routine testing of tissues at our facility and to assess the agreement with high pressure liquid chromatographic (HPLC) determinative methods. Parallel testing with the official MIT found that the Lactek tests could be confidently used for testing tissue samples containing incurred residues. Among 1,008 MIT-positive samples, the LacTek test found that 90% contained β-lactams and/or tetracyclines. A further 7.3% of violative residues could not be identified to an antimicrobial class. In addition, 9% of samples testing negative on the MIT were found to contain an antimicrobial residue by the LacTek tests. Comparative testing with HPLC methods found that there was very good agreement between the two tests and that most violations were due to penicillin G and oxytetracycline. Although the LacTek test cannot be used to distinguish violative from nonviolative residue levels, it does offer several advantages over the present MIT. These include speed, ease of use, the ability to identify residues to a specific class, and an improved sensitivity at the MRL level for the most commonly found antimicrobials in tissue.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada 2: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Education, Research and Laboratories Division, Guelph, Ontario, Canada 3: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Centre for Veterinary Drug Residues, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Publication date: August 1, 1998

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