How can immunochemical methods contribute to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive?

Petra M. Krämer, Dieter Martens, Stephan Forster, Ildi Ipolyi, Claudia Brunori, Roberto Morabito

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Immunochemical methods (in particular immunoassays) have been applied to spring and surface water samples, respectively, which were set-up as reference materials (RM) within two proficiency testing campaigns. For the first set of proficiency tests (PTs) described here (which were actually the second round of PTs organized, spring 2005), three ELISAs (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) were employed in the enzyme tracer format for isoproturon, diuron, and atrazine, respectively. Results were evaluated in comparison with conventional reference methods (LC, GC). Based on their Z-score laboratory performances, the results for isoproturon and diuron were satisfactory, both for fortified spring water and for the blind solution. The results for atrazine were strongly influenced by other triazines present and needed detailed interpretation. For the second set of PTs described here (which were actually the third round of PTs organized, spring 2006), two ELISAs in the coating antigen format were used for isoproturon and diuron, and the result was included with the results obtained by conventional methods during the PTs. The results (the Z-scores) for isoproturon were again classified as satisfactory, in both fortified surface water and blind solution. The results for diuron in ELISA showed an influence of the water matrix, while the analysis of the blind solution was satisfactory. In addition, an ELISA in the enzyme tracer format was applied to analyze isoproturon, diuron, and atrazine in surface water samples, which had been set-up and spiked during a field trial (tank experiment) at the Maas River at Eijsden, The Netherlands. The immunoassay results were compared with those from an in-house on-line SPE LC/MS-MS used as reference. Although the immunochemical results were sometimes higher than those determined in the reference analysis, the general concentration trends in the samples were similar. The contribution of immunochemical methods to the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1448
Number of pages14
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2007



  • Immunoassay
  • Microtiter plate
  • Pesticides
  • Proficiency testing
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry

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