The application of thyreostats in livestock has been banned in the European Union since 1981, but these drugs are currently in the focus due to the natural occurrence of thiouracil (TU). Studies have been published on TU contamination in urine samples of animal and human origins without any drug administration of it. This paper presents new analytical methods to analyze thyreostats to support the legislation on the recommended concentration (RC) levels of these drugs. Both screening and confirmatory methods are developed for analyzing thyreostats in porcine and bovine urines using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry technique. The new methods include a chemical derivatization with 3-iodobenzyl bromide, followed by novel purification approaches using supported liquid extraction and mixed-mode cation-exchange solid-phase extraction (SPE) for screening and confirmatory purposes, respectively. The optimized derivatization in combination with the cation-exchange SPE gives high sensitivity and reducing matrix effect of the analysis. The methods are validated in accordance with the guidelines for the validation of screening methods and European Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. The confirmatory method is used in the national monitoring plan. The detected levels of TU in urine samples are below the currently applicable RC level (10 μg L-1).
- AnimalsAntithyroid AgentsCattleChromatography, High Pressure LiquidLimit Of DetectionLiquid-liquid ExtractionMethimazoleReproducibility Of ResultsSolid Phase ExtractionSwineTandem Mass SpectrometryThiouracil