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Development of a Method for the Detection of -Lactamases in Milk Samples

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With the rapid growth of the dairy industry and the establishment of strict antimicrobial residue limits in the People's Republic of China's (PRC) milk supply, a -lactamase product known as antimicrobial destroyer was introduced into dairy production without regulatory review. We developed a method for detecting this product in milk samples based on a modified cylinder plate method. The presence of -lactamase is defined as a difference between the inhibitory zones of the test samples (supplemented with 25 g/mL sulbactam plus 0.5 g/mL penicillin G) and control samples (supplemented only with 0.5 g/mL penicillin G) 3 mm. Using this method, 77 individually packaged milk samples were randomly collected from 5 retail stores in 3 cities over a 4-month period (May to August 2006). Of the 77 samples, 49 were found to be -lactamase-positive. In 2 undiluted milk samples showing extremely high -lactamase activity, 25 g/mL sulbactam could not inhibit penicillin G activity. Because there is a lack of safety data on -lactamases in milk products, these data indicated a potentially serious safety concern for the dairy industry in the PRC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, Department of Antibiotics, Beijing 100050, People's Republic of China.

Publication date: July 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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