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Toxins 2015, 7(12), 4935-4966;

Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxins from Complex Matrices: Results of the First International Proficiency Test

Biological Toxins, Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens, Robert Koch Institute, Seestrasse 10, 13353 Berlin, Germany
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Retieseweg 111, 2440 Geel, Belgium
toxogen GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Strasse 35, 30625 Hannover, Germany
ChemStat, Aarstrasse 98, 3005 Bern, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaohua He
Received: 10 September 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 26 November 2015
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In the framework of the EU project EQuATox, a first international proficiency test (PT) on the detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) was conducted. Sample materials included BoNT serotypes A, B and E spiked into buffer, milk, meat extract and serum. Different methods were applied by the participants combining different principles of detection, identification and quantification. Based on qualitative assays, 95% of all results reported were correct. Successful strategies for BoNT detection were based on a combination of complementary immunological, MS-based and functional methods or on suitable functional in vivo/in vitro approaches (mouse bioassay, hemidiaphragm assay and Endopep-MS assay). Quantification of BoNT/A, BoNT/B and BoNT/E was performed by 48% of participating laboratories. It turned out that precise quantification of BoNT was difficult, resulting in a substantial scatter of quantitative data. This was especially true for results obtained by the mouse bioassay which is currently considered as “gold standard” for BoNT detection. The results clearly demonstrate the urgent need for certified BoNT reference materials and the development of methods replacing animal testing. In this context, the BoNT PT provided the valuable information that both the Endopep-MS assay and the hemidiaphragm assay delivered quantitative results superior to the mouse bioassay. View Full-Text
Keywords: proficiency test; BoNT; reference material; standardized detection proficiency test; BoNT; reference material; standardized detection

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Worbs, S.; Fiebig, U.; Zeleny, R.; Schimmel, H.; Rummel, A.; Luginbühl, W.; Dorner, B.G. Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxins from Complex Matrices: Results of the First International Proficiency Test. Toxins 2015, 7, 4935-4966.

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