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Assessment of Two Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Tests Marketed for Detection of Ruminant Proteins in Finished Feed

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The performance characteristics of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kits, ELISA Technologies' MELISA-Tek test and Tepnel BioSystems' BioKit for (Cooked) Species Identification test, designed to detect ruminant proteins in animal feed, were evaluated. The test kits were evaluated by using acceptance criteria developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine Office of Research for evaluating selectivity, sensitivity, ruggedness, and specificity. The acceptance criteria for determining success used a statistical approach requiring a 90% probability of achieving the correct response within a 95% confidence interval. In practice, this measure requires the test to achieve the correct response 58 times for every 60 samples evaluated, or a 96.7% accuracy rate. A minimum detection level of 0.1% bovine meat and bone meal (BMBM) was required, consistent with the sensitivity of the analytical methods presently used by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Selectivity was assessed by testing 60 dairy feed samples that contained no added animal proteins; sensitivity was determined by evaluating 60 samples (per level of fortification) of this same feed that contained 0.025, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, or 2% BMBM. The MELISA-Tek test passed the acceptance set-point criteria for selectivity assessment but failed the sensitivity assessment at all levels except at the 2% level. The MELISA-Tek test came close to passing at the 1% level, detecting true-positive findings at a rate of 93%, but failed at lower levels, in spite of the label claim of 0.5% sensitivity. The BioKit for (Cooked) Species Identification test detected only 2 of 17 samples fortified at the 2% BMBM level and failed to detect any other BMBM-fortified samples. The results of this evaluation indicate that neither test is adequate for regulatory use.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Veterinary Medicine, Office of Research, 8401 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Maryland 20708, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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