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Identification of biomarkers and development of tests to detect administration of illegal and veterinary drugs in livestock - VM02144

The application of transcriptomics and proteomics to identify biomarkers of illegal and veterinary drug administration and development of diagnostic tests for these biomarkers for use in national surveillance programme. Objectives:
1. To apply transcriptomics and proteomics procedures to identify and validate biomarkers in in vitro systems (e.g. monocytes, macrophages, muscle cell lines and hepatocytes) when these systems are exposed to beta agonists and anabolic steroids;
2. To confirm that the biomarkers identified in the in vitro study are applicable in vivo when the animal is challenged by administration of beta agonists and anabolic steroids;
3. To identify and isolate the biomarkers (proteins) and raise antibodies by application of phage display technology;
4. To apply the phage display antibodies to develop immunoassay methods to screen biological samples for the biomarkers.

Policy relevance:UK and EU legislation on drug residues in food seeks to protect the consumer from over exposure to illegal drugs and veterinary medicines and is designed to ensure that veterinary medicines can be used safely. Compliance with this legislation requires the development of suitable analytical methods to enable cost effective monitoring of veterinary drug residues to be conducted under non-statutory and statutory surveillance programmes.

The proposal satisfies these policy issues in that, if successful, it will deliver:
1). Biomarkers for detection of administration of beta agonists and anabolic steroids; Rapid Immunochemistry assays to monitor the biomarkers; and·
2). A novel approach to drug screening based upon monitoring biomarkers of functionality for classes of drugs with the same pharmacological action, as opposed to conventional analytical approaches for detecting specific drugs/metabolites.

A successful project will deliver these methods for use in statutory and non-statutory veterinary drug surveillance programmes.

Intended Use of results:
Circulation to appropriate laboratories (as defined by Defra) to provide an analytical strategy for the regulatory control of administration of illegal or unauthorised use, in the first instance, of beta agonists and anabolic steroids as part of the National Drug Surveillance Programme.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final report- Veterinary medicines residues in meat and animal products   (476k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2008

Cost: £737,712
Contractor / Funded Organisations
HFL Limited
Animal Health              
Method Development              
Plants and Animals              
Veterinary Medicines              
Fields of Study
Animal Health
Veterinary Medicine