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Mass Spectrometric Detection of Bacterial Protein Toxins and Their Enzymatic Activity
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Toxins 2015, 7(9), 3637-3656;

Quantitative Analysis of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins A and B in Food Matrices Using Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS)

Science Department, National Food Agency, Box 622, Uppsala SE-751 26, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaohua He
Received: 2 July 2015 / Revised: 2 September 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Rapid Detection of Bacterial Toxins)
PDF [945 KB, uploaded 11 September 2015]


A method that uses mass spectrometry (MS) for identification and quantification of protein toxins, staphylococcal enterotoxins A and B (SEA and SEB), in milk and shrimp is described. The analysis was performed using a tryptic peptide, from each of the toxins, as the target analyte together with the corresponding 13C-labeled synthetic internal standard peptide. The performance of the method was evaluated by analyzing spiked samples in the quantification range 2.5–30 ng/g (R2 = 0.92–0.99). The limit of quantification (LOQ) in milk and the limit of detection (LOD) in shrimp was 2.5 ng/g, for both SEA and SEB toxins. The in-house reproducibility (RSD) was 8%–30% and 5%–41% at different concentrations for milk and shrimp, respectively. The method was compared to the ELISA method, used at the EU-RL (France), for milk samples spiked with SEA at low levels, in the quantification range of 2.5 to 5 ng/g. The comparison showed good coherence for the two methods: 2.9 (MS)/1.8 (ELISA) and 3.6 (MS)/3.8 (ELISA) ng/g. The major advantage of the developed method is that it allows direct confirmation of the molecular identity and quantitative analysis of SEA and SEB at low nanogram levels using a label and antibody free approach. Therefore, this method is an important step in the development of alternatives to the immune-assay tests currently used for staphylococcal enterotoxin analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: staphylococcal enterotoxins; quantification; foods; UPLC-ESI-MS/MS staphylococcal enterotoxins; quantification; foods; UPLC-ESI-MS/MS

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Muratovic, A.Z.; Hagström, T.; Rosén, J.; Granelli, K.; Hellenäs, K.-E. Quantitative Analysis of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins A and B in Food Matrices Using Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Toxins 2015, 7, 3637-3656.

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