Analysis of DDT Residues in Soil by ELISA: An International Interlaboratory Study

Britt M. Maestroni, John H. Skerritt, Ian G. Ferris, Arpad Ambrus

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12 Citations (Scopus)


An international interlaboratory study was conducted to determine the performance of a group of laboratories from developing and developed countries. The study used a commercial microwell ELISA on unknown samples spiked with different levels of DDT. The study design was based on Youden pairs and balanced replicates. Two soils, differing in particle size distributions, organic matter content, and cation-exchange capacities and thought to be DDT-free, were spiked at 5 DDT levels between 0.025 and 2 mg/kg. Nineteen laboratories in 17 countries took part in the collaborative trial; of these, the majority were modestly equipped laboratories in developing countries. Samples were analyzed without filtration or cleanup and using standards of pure DDT in methanol. Data were analyzed for repeatability and reproducibility, and average recoveries at the spike levels were calculated. Mean real recoveries for both soils were similar (103% for soil A and 100% for soil B), with values between 0.1 and 2 mg/kg DDT. Precision estimates were best in the linear working range of the assay (0.1-0.5 mg/kg DDT), with reproducibility relative standard deviations (RSDR) typically averaging about 38 and 46% near the upper and lower detection limits, respectively. Corresponding repeatability relative standard deviation (RSDr) values were 20-36% and 36-57%. Thus, even though much of the trial was performed under developing country conditions, performance statistics were similar to other reported results obtained with ELISAs on small molecules of agricultural importance, such as mycotoxins and pesticide and antibiotic residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of AOAC International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Pharmacology

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