Multiclass Residue Analysis of Veterinary Drugs in Pork and Hen Eggs Using an Agilent Ultivo QQQ LC/MS System

Veterinary drugs, consisting mainly of antimicrobials and hormones, have been
widely used to treat or prevent diseases and enhance growth and feed efficiency.
There have been world-wide concerns that veterinary drug residues remain in
the products of animal origin at the time of consumption that can cause allergic
reactions and antibiotic resistance. To protect public health, the US FDA published
final rules to regulate antimicrobial drug usage with the Veterinary Feed Directive in
June 20151
. The EU regulation is described in legislative proposal 2014/0257(COD)2
and would repeal and replace Directive 2001/82/EC. The new regulation aims to
address the goals determined by the impact assessment, and address the public
health risk of antimicrobial resistance. In China, to set maximum veterinary drug
limits in animal-derived foods3
, the Minister of Agriculture published Announcement
. Depending on analytes and matrices, the accurate quantitation requirements
range from parts-per-trillion to parts-per-billion levels. Due to the complexity of
the matrices and characteristics of different classes of veterinary drugs, such as
hydrophobicity and stability under different pH, it is challenging to detect multiple
classes of analytes in one run. A typical standard method covers one class or a
small cohort of similar classes of veterinary drugs. To effectively monitor veterinary
drugs and protect public health, the ability to detect multiple classes of analytes in
one run is highly desired.
The Agilent Ultivo triple quadrupole LC/MS system fits well in the scheme. The
Ultivo is designed to address many challenges faced by routine production labs,
especially in the environmental and food safety arenas. Several revolutionary
innovations are incorporated into the system, making it much smaller than previous
generations of triple quadrupole systems, without sacrificing performance. Superior
ion transmission efficiency is achieved with the dual hexapole design. Polarity
switching becomes faster with hardware and electronics improvements. Moreover,
Ultivo reduces the need for user intervention for system maintenance, making the
system operation and maintenance manageable for nonexpert MS users with the
implementation of VacShield and removable detector.

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