Food chemistry

Metabolomics reveals novel biomarkers of illegal 5-nitromimidazole treatment in pigs. Further evidence of drug toxicity uncovered.

PMID 26776047


The aim of the study was to investigate the potential of a metabolomics platform to distinguish between pigs treated with ronidazole, dimetridazole and metronidazole and non-medicated animals (controls), at two withdrawal periods (day 0 and 5). Livers from each animal were biochemically profiled using UHPLC-QTof-MS in ESI+ mode of acquisition. Several Orthogonal Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis models were generated from the acquired mass spectrometry data. The models classified the two groups control and treated animals. A total of 42 ions of interest explained the variation in ESI+. It was possible to find the identity of 3 of the ions and to positively classify 4 of the ionic features, which can be used as potential biomarkers of illicit 5-nitroimidazole abuse. Further evidence of the toxic mechanisms of 5-nitroimidazole drugs has been revealed, which may be of substantial importance as metronidazole is widely used in human medicine.