Development of an ELISA for detection of mitragynine and its metabolites in human urine

Anal Biochem. 2020 Jun 15:599:113733. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2020.113733. Epub 2020 Apr 14.


An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of mitragynine, other closely related Kratom alkaloids and metabolites was developed using polyclonal antibodies. Mitragynine was conjugated to a carrier protein, cationized-bovine serum albumin using Mannich reaction. The synthesized antigen was injected into rabbits to elicit specific polyclonal antibodies against mitragynine. An enzyme conjugate was synthesized for evaluating its performance with the antibodies produced. The assay had an IC50 of 7.3 ng/mL with a limit of detection of 15 ng/mL for mitragynine. Antibody produced have high affinity for mitragynine (100%), other closely related Kratom alkaloids such as paynantheine (54%), speciociliatine (63%), 7α-hydroxy-7H-mitragynine (83%) and cross-reacted with metabolites 9-O-demethyl mitragynine (79%), 16-carboxy mitragynine (103%), 9-O-demethyl mitragynine sulfate (263%), 9-O-demethyl mitragynine glucuronide (60%), 16-carboxy mitragynine glucuronide (60%), 9-O-demethyl-16-carboxy mitragynine sulfate (270%) and 17-O-demethyl-16,17-dihydro mitragynine glucuronide (34%). It showed cross-reactivity less than 0.01% to reserpine, codeine, morphine, caffeine, methadone, amphetamine, and cocaine. Ten-fold dilution urine was used in the assay to reduce the matrix effects. The recovery ranged from 83% to 112% with variation coefficients in intraday and interday less than 8% and 6%, respectively. The ELISA turned out to be a convenient tool to diagnose mitragynine, other closely related Kratom alkaloids and metabolites in human urine samples.

Keywords: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); Human urine; Kratom; Metabolites; Mitragynine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Humans
  • Secologanin Tryptamine Alkaloids / urine*


  • Secologanin Tryptamine Alkaloids
  • mitragynine