A Study on the Feasibility of Incorporating Spores of Penicillinase Producing Bacilli into an Iodometric Paper-strip Test for the Detection of Penicillin in Milk
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Penicillin administered to cows in the treatment of mastitis passes into the milk if treatment is given too Close to the lactation period. To ensure that no milk processed for human consumption contains penicillin residues which could present a health hazard or could interfere with the production of cultured dairy products, federal regulations require that all milk be tested. As a simple and rapid alternative to those methods currently available for penicillin detection, an iodometric paper-strip test was proposed. This system involved the direct assay of penicilloic acid, the product of the hydrolysis of the β-lactam ring of penicillin by penicillinase. Purified penicillinase and vegetative cells of penicillinase-producing Bacillus strains were used to test the sensitivity of the paper. In addition, spores of one of these strains were incorporated into the paper matrix of the test-strip to determine whether they could be used as a stable source of the enzyme. The results indicate that spores could be used to provide penicillinase within a paper test system; however, that the proposed test format does not have the sensitivity necessary for this type of test.