Effect of urine adulterants on commercial drug abuse screening test strip results

  • Ivana Rajšić Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Police Directorate, Criminal Police Directorate, National Forensic Center, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Dragana Javorac
  • Simona Tatović University of Belgrade – Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Aleksandra Repić Serbian Institute for Occupational Health “Dr Dragomir Karajović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Danijela Đukić-Ćosić University of Belgrade – Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Snežana Đorđević Poison Control Centre, Military Medical Academy, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Vera Lukić Institute of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Zorica Bulat University of Belgrade – Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
Keywords: false negative, household chemicals, immunochromatographic assay, lemon juice, URIT 11G, vinegar

Abstract

Immunochromatographic strips for urine drug screening tests (UDSTs) are common and very suitable for drug abuse monitoring, but are also highly susceptible to adulterants kept in the household, which can significantly alter test results. The aim of this study was to see how some of these common adulterants affect UDST results in practice and whether they can be detected by sample validity tests with pH and URIT 11G test strips. To this end we added household chemicals (acids, alkalis, oxidizing agents, surfactants, and miscellaneous substances) to urine samples positive for amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), tetrahydrocannabinol, heroin, cocaine, or benzodiazepines (diazepam or alprazolam) and tested them with one-component immunochromatographic UDST strips. The UDST for cocaine resisted adulteration the most, while the cannabis test produced the most false negative results. The most potent adulterant that barely changed the physiological properties of urine specimens and therefore escaped adulteration detection was vinegar. Besides lemon juice, it produced the most false negative test results. In conclusion, some urine adulterants, such as vinegar, could pass urine specimen validity test and remain undetected by laboratory testing. Our findings raise concern about this issue of preventing urine tampering and call for better control at sampling, privacy concerns notwithstanding, and better sample validity tests.

Author Biographies

Ivana Rajšić, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Police Directorate, Criminal Police Directorate, National Forensic Center, Belgrade, Serbia

first author

Dragana Javorac

second author

Simona Tatović, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia

third author

Aleksandra Repić, Serbian Institute for Occupational Health “Dr Dragomir Karajović”, Belgrade, Serbia

Fourth author

Danijela Đukić-Ćosić, University of Belgrade – Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia

corresponding author

Published
2020-03-24
How to Cite
1.
Rajšić I, Javorac D, Tatović S, Repić A, Đukić-ĆosićD, Đorđević S, Lukić V, Bulat Z. Effect of urine adulterants on commercial drug abuse screening test strip results. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol [Internet]. 2020Mar.24 [cited 2020Jun.7];71(1). Available from: https://arhiv.imi.hr/index.php/arhiv/article/view/1161
Section
Original article