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Food safety screening: Synthetic glucocorticoids
GLUCOCORTICOIDS ANALYSIS

Contract number : QLK1-1999-00122
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 1.636.392
EC contribution : € 976.458
Starting date : 1/02/2000
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Rosanna d'Amario
Project website : not yet available
Coordinator
Dr Carlos Van Peteghem
University of Gent
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Laboratory of Food Analysis
Harelbekestraat 72
9000 Gent
Belgium
Tel.: +32-9-2648115
Fax: +32-9-2648199
E-mail: carlos.vanpeteghem @ rug.ac.be
Background

Synthetic glucocorticoids are structural analogues of hydrocorticon that display extremely potent hormonal activities. Despite their broad illicit use livestock intended for human consumption, monitoring programmes for residues of synthetic glucocorticoids have not been implemented. Maximal residue limits in milk and meat as well as various withdrawal times for veterinary preparations containing synthetic glucocorticoids have been proposed, but analytical methods to control the enforcement of such regulations are entirely missing. In consequence, the goal of this project is to establish and disseminate innovative methods for the detection of synthetic glucocorticoids in fluids or tissues of food producing animals. These methods will provide the analytical basis for surveillance programmes that support the Community policies concerned with food safety and human health.

Objectives

The goal of this project is to develop and disseminate innovative methods for the detection of synthetic glucocorticoids in animal fluids and tissues. Synthetic glucocorticoids are extremely potent analogues of the endogenous hormone hydrocortisone. Despite their broad use in livestock intended for human consumption, monitoring programmes for residues of these compounds have not been implemented in the European Union. On the contrary, the lack of detection methods for glucocorticoids stimulates their illicit use to increase animal weight, to pass antemortem inspections or to mask injections of antibiotic/hormone cocktails. Maximal residue limits and withdrawal times for veterinary preparations containing synthetic glucocorticoids have been proposed, but analytical methods to control the enforcement of such regulations are entirely missing. Thus, the project will promote food safety and consumer health as well as the harmonisation of surveillance procedures.

(expected) Results and achievements

In view of their potent hormonal effects, synthetic glucocorticoids constitute a serious health hazard. This project will yield screening (immunoassay, reporter gene and proteome analysis) and confirmatory methods (LC-MS) that provide the analytical basis for control programmes in support of Community policies concerned with food safety and human health. In a broader perspective, these methods will prevent trade barriers and increase consumer confidence, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of European food production.

Applications:

  • a rapid, sensitive and high-throughput chemiluminescence immunoassay;
  • confirmatory and identification methods based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry;
  • a reporter gene-based bioassay to replace animal testing for measuring the pharmacological potency of glucocorticoids and their metabolites or derivatives;
  • a proteome analysis assay to detect expression of endogenous glucocorticoid-responsive genes in liver or other tissues and identify markers for glucocorticoid exposure.

Partners

TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute
Department of Pharmacology
Utrechtseweg 48
PO Box 360
3700 AJ Zeist
The Netherlands
Instituto de Salud Carlos III
Unidad de Residuos Zoosanitarios
Carretera de Majadahonda -Pozuelo, Km.2
28220 Majadahonda Madrid
Spain
Euro-Diagnostica B.V.
Beijerinckweg 18
PO Box 5005
6802 EA Arnhem
The Netherlands
University of Zürich
Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
August Forel-Straße 1
8008 Zürich
Switzerland
The Queen's University of Belfast
Department of Veterinary Sciences
Stoney Road, Stormont
BT4 3SD Belfast
United Kingdom
Statens Livsmedelsverk
Chemistry Division 3
PO Box 622
751 26 Uppsala
Sweden


Fifth Framework Programme

PDF Version

:

Volume 1 (PDF 2.9 MB)

   

Volume 2 (PDF 1.9 MB)

 

Last update

:

23-09-2003



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