Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 24, pp 7875–7884

An inter-laboratory validation of a multiplex dipstick assay for four classes of antibiotics in honey


    • The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)
  • Roy Macarthur
    • The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)
  • Christoph von Holst
    • European Commission, Joint Research CentreInstitute for Reference Materials and Measurements
  • Matthew Sharman
    • The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00216-013-7070-3

Cite this article as:
Heinrich, K., Macarthur, R., von Holst, C. et al. Anal Bioanal Chem (2013) 405: 7875. doi:10.1007/s00216-013-7070-3
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Rapid Detection in Food and Feed


In this paper, we report the inter-laboratory validation (ILV) of a recently developed indirect competitive multiplex dipstick (Bee4sensor®) which is capable of the simultaneous detection of residues of some of the most frequently detected antibiotic residues in honey: sulfonamides, tylosin, fluoroquinolones and chloramphenicol. The multi-sensor dipstick can be interpreted via visual observation or by an instrumental measurement of four test lines. Statistical analysis of the ILV data demonstrated that the multi-sensor can reliably detect the presence of sulfathiazole at 25 μg kg−1 and tylosin at 10 μg kg−1, which fully meet the ‘recommended concentrations’ of the EU. Ciprofloxacin and chloramphenicol can be detected at 25 and 5 μg kg−1 in honey, respectively. Whilst the concentration for chloramphenicol is above the EU minimum required performance limit of 0.3 μg kg−1, this part of the multiplex test may still be of use to both the industry and enforcement authorities, to provide an early warning of contaminated honey. The estimated false-negative and false-positive rates for this easy-to-use and robust assay were less than 5 %.


HoneyAntibioticsScreening methodBioassayDrug monitoringFood/beverages

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© Crown Copyright as represented by: Food and Environment Research Agency 2013