Comparison of two polyclonal antibodies for the detection of 19-nortestosterone in bovine bile by ELISA

J. Cooper, Christopher Elliott, Robert Baxter, Margaret Hewitt, Joanne McEvoy, Derek McCaughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


19-Nortestosterone (beta-NT) is banned for use as a growth promoter in food animals within the European Union. For regulatory control purposes, urine and bile samples are routinely screened by immunoassay. The aim of the present study was to compare the ability of two immunoassays, using two rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised against two different NT derivatives, to detect NT residues in bovine bile. One antiserum cross-reacted with both alpha-NT and beta-NT (alpha/beta-NT), whereas the other was specific for alpha-NT. Bile samples from 266 slaughtered cattle were deconjugated and analyzed using both antibodies, with all screening positives (>2 ng ml(-1)) confirmed by high resolution gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The alpha/beta-NT and alpha-NT antibody-based ELISAs screened 39 and 44 samples positive, respectively, with NT confirmed in 22 and 39, respectively. The alpha/beta-NT antibody-based ELISA produced a false-negative rate of 44% compared to 0% for the alpha-NT antibody-based ELISA. Supplementary investigations concluded that a matrix effect was a major cause of the marked differences in false-negative rates. This result underlines the necessity to validate immunoassays in the sample matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Immunology
  • Toxicology


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