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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research » Research » Research Project #438509

Research Project: Rapid Analysis of Bioactive Plant Constituents and Steroid Hormones in Beef Cattle Matrices

Location: Animal Metabolism-Agricultural Chemicals Research

Project Number: 3060-32420-003-006-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

Beef cattle are exposed to numerous bioactive compounds which may impact animal health or meat quality. Such factors include plant bioactive compounds and fungal metabolites which may cause chronic production inefficiencies including reproductive disorders. Chronic disorders are often difficult for clinicians to diagnose due to the lack of overt symptoms or because of the multiplicity of factors that may contribute to generalized symptoms. Accurate diagnoses are further exacerbated by the general dearth of analytical tools that can be used to verify or refute animal exposures to specific causative agents or which describe endocrine anomalies. Additionally, animal exposure to certain compounds places veterinarians and producers in the awkward situation of having to predict –without data– premarketing withdrawal intervals necessary to ensure depletion of potentially toxic compounds from edible products. That is, the presence of plant and/or fungal toxins in meat or milk typically violates regulations designed to protect consumers and may result in carcass or milk condemnations. Rapid detection of active compounds in live animals allows 1) remediation of animal exposures to sources of chemical insults and 2) prevention of consumer exposures to chemical residues. Although, simple in principle, the detection of bioactives in animals is technically challenging because of 1) low analyte concentrations typically encountered; 2) matrix interferences that cause poor assay performance, 3) expenses related to technically difficult assays, and 4) the long time period required for the return of analytical results. Recent atmospheric pressure-based mass spectrometry technologies, however, have allowed the very rapid (~10 minutes), selective, and sensitive detection of a wide variety of chemical analytes in animal matrices including urine, saliva, blood, liver, kidney and skeletal muscle. Although not yet field-based, the rapidity of the mass-selective detection and confirmation of chemical analytes in animal fluids or tissues is attractive from a diagnostic, scientific, forensic, and regulatory perspective. Objectives: To demonstrate or refute the utility of rapid, mass-spectrometry based technologies to detect and quantify plant-based toxins and physiologic markers of endocrine impact (i.e., steroidal estrogens) in food animals.

Animal based matrices (urine, blood, tissues, saliva, ovarian follicles, amniotic fluid) from control and test animals containing incurred residues of plant toxins or estrogen residues will be collected from NDSU and/or ARS resources. Presumptive plant toxins, estrogens, and estrogen metabolites will be identified, standards procured -when available- and fortified into blank matrices. A series of mass spectrometric-based screening tools (ASAP, ESII, mDESI, DART, paper spray MS) will be used at ARS facilities to unambiguously determine the utility of atmospheric based ionization techniques to rapidly and quantitatively identify analytes in test matrices.