Comparison of florfenicol depletion in dairy goat milk using ultra-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry and a commercial on-farm test


Florfenicol is a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly prescribed in an extra-label manner for treating meat and dairy goats. Scientific data in support of a milk withdrawal interval recommendation is limited to plasma pharmacokinetic data and minimal milk residue data that is limited to cattle. Therefore, a rapid residue detection test (RRDT) could be a useful resource to determine if milk samples are free of drug residues and acceptable for sale. This study compared a commercially available RRDT (Charm® FLT strips) to detect florfenicol residues in fresh milk samples from healthy adult dairy breed goats treated with florfenicol (40 mg/kg subcutaneously twice 4 days apart) with quantitative analysis of florfenicol concentrations using ultra-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). In addition, storage claims for testing bovine milk using the RRDT were assessed using stored goat milk samples. Milk samples were collected every 12 h for a minimum of 26 days. Commercial RRDT strips remained positive in individual goats ranging from 528 to 792 h (22–33 days) after the second dose, whereas, UPLC-MS/MS indicated the last detectable florfenicol concentration in milk samples ranged from 504 to 720 h (21–30 days) after the second dose. Results from stored milk samples from treated goats indicate that samples can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and 60 days in the freezer after milking prior to being tested with a low risk of false-negative test results due to drug degradation. Elevated somatic cell counts and bacterial colony were noted in some of the milk samples in this study, but further study is required to understand the impact of these quality factors on RRDT results.



florfenicol, goat, extra-label drug use, drug residue, milk residue