A portable fluorescent microsphere-based lateral flow immunosensor for the simultaneous detection of colistin and bacitracin in milk†
The polypeptide antibiotics colistin (COL) and bacitracin (Baci) are extensively used as veterinary drugs and feedstock additives in the livestock industry, which inevitably causes residues in animal-origin food, which can accelerate human tolerance to antibiotics. In this study, a portable lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) for the simultaneous determination of COL and Baci residues in milk was developed. The replacement of gold nanoparticles used in the traditional LFIA with fluorescent microspheres (FMs) to label monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) allowed qualitative and quantitative analyses within a few minutes. Based on the principle of competitive binding to FM-labelled mAbs between analytes in samples and fixed antigens on the membrane, the assay provided qualitative cut-off values of 100 and 50 ng mL−1 for Baci and COL in milk samples. Furthermore, a strip reader-based semi-quantitative detection system could detect lower limits of 7.85 and 1.89 ng mL−1 for Baci and COL, respectively. In conclusion, the proposed multiplex LFIA immunosensor provides an auxiliary analytical tool for the rapid and simultaneous screening of COL and Baci in large cohorts of samples.