Evaluation of Tetracycline Antibiotic Residue in Honey Samples using ELISA and HPLC

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc in Food Safety and Hygiene, Student Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran .

2 Associate professor, Health Products Safety Research Center, Qazvin University of medical sciences, Qazvin, Iran

3 Professor, Medical Microbiology Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran

4 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

5 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Honey is used worldwide due to its medicinal and nutritional properties. Antibiotics are used to treat diseases such as American foulbrood and European foulbrood or as a drug for preventing disease in the beehives. Antibiotic residues should be carefully monitored because they can have adverse effects on the general health of human. In this study, the amount of tetracycline residue was measured in honey samples. A total of 80 honey samples were collected from different regions of Qazvin province, Iran. The methods used included enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assay and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). ELISA method showed that the maximum and minimum levels of tetracycline residue were 40 ppb and 1.26 ppb, respectively. The areas with values above the kit’s LOD include Takestan (14.28%), Abeyek (4.76%), and Alamot-e-gharbi (4.54%), respectively. In the Alamot-e-sharghi samples, the antibiotic values above the kit’s LOD were not found. Samples with values above the kit’s LOD in ELISA method were measured using HPLC method. According to ELISA results, of the 80 honey samples, 4 samples (5%) had antibiotic more than the highest LOD of the kit. These 4 samples were tested using HPLC method. The results of HPLC showed that out of 4 honey samples, one sample was more than 40 ppb, but 3 samples were less than 40 ppb. There is a significant difference between ELISA and HPLC (p < 0.05). If the antibiotic residue levels of tetracycline are too high in food, it can cause serious harm to the health of consumers, therefore, monitoring of antibiotics residue in food is very necessary.


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Volume 11, Issue 4
October 2021
Pages 357-366
  • Receive Date: 09 August 2019
  • Revise Date: 03 September 2019
  • Accept Date: 02 September 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 October 2021