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J Chromatogr A. 2006 Nov 10;1133(1-2):1-12. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Trends in detection of warfare agents. Detection methods for ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B and T-2 toxin.

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Venom and Toxin Research Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 4 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Singapore.


An overview of the different detection methods available for ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and T-2 toxin is presented here. These toxins are potential biological warfare agents (BWA). The aim of this review is not to cover all the papers that had been published but rather to give an overall picture of the trend in the detection methodologies for potential biological warfare agents as we do see the emerging threats from these three toxins. The advantages and disadvantages of each methodology as well as the detection limit will be reviewed. It seems that mass spectrometry has created a niche for analysis of proteinaceous toxins, ricin and SEB as well as molecular toxin, T-2 toxin given its high sensitivity, high selectivity, high specificity and capability to identify and quantify unknown agents simultaneously in a short time frame. But its main drawbacks are its sophisticated instrumentation and its high cost. Improvised immunoassay may be an alternative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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