Immunoassay detection of drugs in racing horses. VII. Detection of acepromazine in equine urine and blood by ELISA and PCFIA

S. Kwiatkowski, L. Sturma, M. R. Dai, H. H. Tai, D. S. Watt, C. L. Tai, W. E. Woods, T. J. Weckman, J. M. Yang, T. Wood, S. L. Chang, J. W. Blake, T. Tobin, C. A. Prange, C. Brockus, D. Stobert, S. Wie, R. A. Chung, J. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have developed and evaluated a one step enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test and a particle concentration fluorescence immunoassay (PCFIA) test for acepromazine as part of a panel of pre- and post-race tests for illegal medications in racing horses. These tests are rapid, sensitive and economical and development of the tests occurred in less than seven months. The ELISA test detects acepromazine with an I-50 of about 150 pg/ml. In vivo, it readily detects the presence of acepromazine or its metabolites in equine blood and urine from 8 to 72 hours or longer, respectively, after administration of sub-therapeutic doses. In vitro, the ELISA test cross-reacts with analogs of acepromazine, suggesting that it will also detect the use of other phenothiazine tranquilizers. The PCFIA test detects acepromazine with an I-50 of about 10 ng/ml. When applied to pre-race screening of serum samples as part of the pre-race testing program at a midwestern racetrack, the PCFIA test detected a number of cases of acepromazine abuse. Screening of stored post-race urine samples from associated horses by the ELISA test 'flagged' numerous samples for acepromazine, suggesting a pattern of acepromazine abuse. To date about twenty of these acepromazine flagged samples have been confirmed positive on mass spectrometry. As such the ELISA and PCFIA tests described in this communication are capable of substantially improving the quality of pre- and post-race testing programs for phenothiazine tranquilizers in racing horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-412
Number of pages22
JournalResearch Communications in Chemical Pathology and Pharmacology
Volume61
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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