Development, validation and implementation of a receptor based bioassay capable of detecting a broad range of B-agonist drugs in animal feedingstuffs

S. Boyd, H.H. Heskamp, T.F.H. Bovee, M.W.F. Nielen, C.T. Elliott

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A bioassay was developed for the detection of a broad range of ß-agonist compounds in animal feeds. A solubilised ß2-adrenoceptor was utilised as the binding protein in the assay. This protein was found to be highly stable when stored at 80 °C. The assay was developed and initially validated to determine the sensitivity and relative selectivity against a panel of commonly used ß-agonist compounds. It was also shown that when ß-agonists were present as cocktails in samples a pronounced synergistic effect could be measured. The method was further validated according to EC Decision 2002/657 and proved capable of detecting 250 ng clenbuterol equivalents per gram of sample. This is well below the quantities normally associated with ß-agonist medicated feeds. The ß2-adrenoceptor used in the study only failed to bind the compound zilpaterol, raising doubts as to whether this compound is a true ß2-adrenergic drug
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-32
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • tandem mass-spectrometry
  • immunobiosensor assay
  • clenbuterol residues
  • growth promoters
  • bovine urine
  • zilpaterol
  • liver
  • food

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