JOURNAL ARTICLE

Determination of designer drug cross-reactivity on five commercial immunoassay screening kits

Laura E Regester, Jeffrey D Chmiel, Justin M Holler, Shawn P Vorce, Barry Levine, Thomas Z Bosy
Journal of Analytical Toxicology 2015, 39 (2): 144-51
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The detection of new designer drugs is often a difficult issue in forensic urine drug testing as immunoassays are the primary screening methodology for drugs of abuse in many of these laboratories. Cross-reactivity of compounds with immunoassay kits can either aid or complicate the detection of a variety of drug and drug metabolites. For instance, emerging designer drugs that share structural similarities to amphetamines and phencyclidine (PCP) have the potential to cross-react with assays designed to detect these compounds. This study evaluates the cross-reactivity of five commercially available immunoassay reagent kits for 94 designer drugs on a Roche/Hitachi Modular P automated screening instrument. The compounds used in this study are grouped by structural class as follows: 2,5-dimethoxyamphetamines, 2C (2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamines), β-keto amphetamines, substituted amphetamines, piperazines, α-pyrrolidinopropiophenones, tryptamines and PCP analogs. A drug concentration of 100 µg/mL was used to determine cross-reactivity for each assay and resulted in the following positive rates: Microgenics DRI(®) Ecstasy enzyme assay (19%), Microgenics DRI(®) Phencyclidine enzyme assay (20%), Lin-Zhi Methamphetamine enzyme immunoassay (39%), Siemens/Syva(®) EMIT(®)II Plus Amphetamines assay (43%) and CEDIA(®) DAU Amphetamine/Ecstasy assay (57%). Of the 94 designer drugs tested, 14% produced a negative response for all five kits. No designer drug used in this study generated a positive result for all five immunoassay kits.

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