In this paper, we have reported an immunoassay with time-resolved revelation system for ampicillin in raw milk samples. Immunological methods appear to be a promising approach in the analysis of β-lactam compounds, because they do not need previous sample pre-treatments. In fact, β-lactam ring is not very stable in extensive sample pre-treatment procedures requested in conventional analytical techniques. Specimens were collected from lactating cows bred in various conditions and assayed for the fat contents. Ampicillin was assayed in samples with different fat concentrations. The assay was performed using ampicillin-specific polyclonal antibody raised in rabbit; the immunogen was synthesized using bovine thyroglobulin conjugated to ampicillin by glutaraldehyde reaction; as fluorescent marker we used goat anti-rabbit IgG conjugated with a chelating molecule complexed with Eu3+. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) conjugated with ampicillin was synthesized and used to prepare a solid phase on polystyrene microtiter plates. The use of a lanthanide chelate as label allowed to achieve 1 ng mL-1sensitivity, which is four times more sensitive than limits requested from European Community. Fat contents did not affect the assay performance. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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