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8th January 2024  Content supplied by: ProGnosis Biotech S.A

Addressing Antibiotic Residues: Dairy Industry Testing Solutions

Antibiotic residues in milk have been identified since the 1960s, with a troubling surge in recent decades. This trend is alarming, given the potential health hazards posed to consumers. The global livestock industry employs approximately 64000 tons of antibiotics annually, and despite their therapeutic purposes for animals, their residues persist in dairy products. Consumption can lead to allergic reactions, intestinal problems, carcinogenic effects, mutations and teratogenicity. They can also interfere with the fermentation process of cheese and yogurt by inhibiting the starter cultures, thus creating a big problem in the dairy industry.

Regulatory bodies worldwide have set mandatory Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for antibiotics in milk and dairy products in order to ensure food safety standards, making accurate testing an absolute necessity for the dairy industry. Testing methods, that include HPLC, LC-MS/MS, Microbiological Inhibition Tests, ELISA and Lateral Flow Tests, are used in the lab in order to ensure compliance with the MRLs. However, the only testing method that also allows testing in the field is Lateral Flow Tests (Rapid Tests).

Feedback from the dairy industry suggests that it is much more convenient, useful and less wasteful, for drivers to test samples from every milk producer on-site, and decide on the spot whether they should accept the shipment or not.  This way, milk quality is ensured early on, and dairy farmers become more vigilant in their use of antibiotics. This is where Lateral Flow tests shine, as they are the best option that achieves an accurate, quick and easy result.

ProGnosis Biotech simplifies field use even more, by creating a lateral flow test with no incubation needed! With negative results in only 90 seconds, its the fastest rapid test series and comes in a comfortable cassette format that requires just a few drops of milk. The Quantum Series offers antibiotic residues tests that can be read visually or with a small portable reader, that gives fast and easy quantification and an easily shared complete history of results.

The Quantum series of lateral flow tests allows even inexperienced personnel the ability to access milk quality fast in the field, while a report of the result can easily be distributed. Quantum BT-Cef detects β-lactams, including Cefalexin, and Tetracyclines, while Quantum BTS detects β-lactams, Tetracyclines and also Sulfonamides in cow, sheep and goat milk. They both offer negative results in just 90 seconds and positive results in 5 minutes.

Preventing the consumption of antibiotics by ensuring milk quality is a crucial requirement in the dairy sector, that can only be achieved through continuous testing. Thus, any advancements that can contribute to a faster and easier but still accurate solution is the answer to their needs. The dairy industry's future in antibiotic residues testing is allowing even non specialized personnel to test cold milk straight from the truck, and ProGnosis Biotech is innovating the field with its Quantum Series achieving exactly that.

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  • Sachi S, Ferdous J, Sikder MH, Azizul Karim Hussani SM. Antibiotic residues in milk: Past, present, and future. J Adv Vet Anim Res. 2019 Jul 11;6(3):315-332. doi: 10.5455/javar.2019.f350. PMID: 31583228; PMCID: PMC6760505.
  • Van Boeckel TP, Brower C, Gilbert M, Grenfell BT, Levin SA, Robinson TP, et al. Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2015;112(18):5649–54.

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Date Published: 8th January 2024

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