Title: An international proficiency test to detect, identify and quantify ricin in complex matrices
Citation: TOXINS vol. 7 no. 12 p. 4987–5010
Publisher: MDPI AG
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC92782
ISSN: 2072-6651
URI: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/7/12/4859
DOI: 10.3390/toxins7124859
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: While natural intoxications with seeds of Ricinus communis have long been known, the toxic protein ricin contained in the seeds is of major concern due to its history of criminal, terrorist and military use. In order to harmonize detection capabilities in expert laboratories an international proficiency test was organized that aimed at identifying good analytical practices (qualitative measurements) and determining a consensus concentration on a highly pure ricin reference material (quantitative measurements). Sample materials included highly pure ricin as well as the related R. communis agglutinin spiked into buffer, milk and meat extract; additionally, an organic fertilizer naturally contaminated with R. communis shred was investigated in the proficiency test. The qualitative results showed that either a suitable combination of immunological, MS-based and functional approaches or sophisticated MS-based approaches alone successfully allowed to detect and identify ricin in all samples. In terms of quantification, it was possible to determine a consensus concentration for the highly pure ricin reference material. The results provide a basis for further steps in quality assurance and improve biopreparedness in expert laboratories worldwide.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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