Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Quantification of the Neurotoxin, Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine

Anal Chem. 2017 May 16;89(10):5612-5619. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b00846. Epub 2017 Apr 24.


Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS, tetramine) is a formerly used and highly neurotoxic rodenticide. Its lethality, recent history of intentional use for mass poisoning, and the absence of a known antidote raise public health concerns. Therefore, rapid, high throughput, and sensitive methods for detection and quantification of TETS are critical. Instrumental analysis method such as GC/MS is sensitive but not rapid or high throughput. Therefore, an immunoassay selective to TETS was developed. The assay shows an IC50 of 4.5 ± 1.2 ng/mL, with a limit of detection of 0.2 ng/mL, comparable to GC/MS. Performance of the immunoassay was demonstrated by a recovery study using known concentrations of TETS spiked into buffer and human and mouse serum matrices giving recoveries in the range of 80-120%. The assay demonstrated good correlation in TETS recovery with established GC/MS analysis. The immunoassay was then used to quantify TETS concentration in the serum of mice exposed to 2× LD50 dose of TETS and to monitor kinetics of TETS clearance from blood over a short period of time. TETS concentration in the serum reached 150 ng/mL without significant change over 4 h post-treatment. Results obtained with the immunoassay had good correlation with GC/MS analysis. Overall, this immunoassay is an important tool to rapidly detect and quantify levels of TETS from biological samples with high sensitivity. The assay can be adapted to multiple formats including field or hospital use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / analysis*
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / blood
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds / immunology
  • Haptens / chemistry
  • Haptens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Mice
  • Neurotoxins / analysis*
  • Neurotoxins / blood
  • Neurotoxins / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • Bridged-Ring Compounds
  • Haptens
  • Neurotoxins
  • tetramethylenedisulfotetramine