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Journal Article


Olivieri B, Marić M, Bridge C. Drug Test. Anal. 2018; 10(9): 1383-1393.


National Center for Forensic Science, University of Central Florida, PO Box 162367, Orlando, FL, 32816.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






The use of immunoassays for drug screening has increased due to their sensitivity towards target analytes, specifically the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique. Adulterant test strips are commonly used in conjunction with immunoassay tests to ensure that the integrity of the specimen has not been altered prior to drug screening. This research focuses on determining which adulterants can produce a false negative result, not only with one of the screening tests, but throughout the entire screening process. Seven adulterants were tested for their ability to generate false negative results for the ELISA by decreasing the detectable antigen concentration to below industry used cut off levels. Each adulterant was added to a urine sample containing one of five different drugs at 5 different concentrations (0, 5, 10, 25, and 50%). Five different urine samples that contain drugs and drug metabolites of benzoylecgonine, THC-COOH, α-PVP, D-amphetamine, and Diazepam, were treated with each of the seven adulterants and analyzed on the ELISA and subsequently by two different test strips. The results indicated that four adulterants (i.e. bleach, Drano®, vinegar, and sodium nitrite) generated the most false negatives for both test strips and the ELISA at surprisingly low concentrations, ~5% v/v. Thus indicating that there are still ways that a urine sample that contains drugs could be analyzed and labeled "clean and free of drugs" after going through a common screening process. These results suggest that new drug screening techniques need to be developed to detect adulterants in urine samples for drug screening.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Bleach; Drug Detection; ELISA; Test Strips; Urine Adulteration


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