New tests make antibiotic monitoring easier
High Plains Journal
Detecting antibiotics in the environment could become easier to do, thanks to portable field kits developed and validated by a team of scientists from the Agricultural Research Service, Abraxis, LLC and the Czech Republic.
The team conducted studies showing that the kits, called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, accurately detected trace amounts of sulfonamides, also known as “sulfa drugs,” in wastewater samples. When these drugs are excreted in urine, for example, they can persist in the environment unchanged or as metabolites.
ARS chemist Weilin Shelver and ARS physiologist Nancy Shappell–both with the agency’s Biosciences Research Laboratory in Fargo, N.D.–conducted the validation studies in collaboration with kit developers Milan Franek, with the Veterinary Research Institute in Brno, Czech Republic; and Fernando Rubio, with Abraxis, LLC in Warminster, Pa.