Journal of analytical toxicology

Evaluation of an Automated Reader and Color Interpretation-Based Immunoassays for Multiplexed Drug-of-Abuse Testing in Urine.

PMID 28201761


On-site drugs of abuse testing devices have undergone continuous improvement. We evaluated three devices with different designs: an automated reader, the Multi-Drug Screen Test Device with DxLINK (DxLINK; Innovacon, Alere, San Diego, USA) and two colorimetric immunoassays, the One Step Multi-Line Screen Panel with Integrated E-Z Split Key Cup II (E-Z Cup; Innovacon, Alere) and the One Step Multi-Drug Screen Panel card (Multi4 card; Alere, Abon Biopharm, Hangzhou, China). Eleven drugs [amphetamine, secobarbital, oxazepam, buprenorphine, benzoylecgonine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), methamphetamine, methadone, morphine and nortriptyline] were tested using the DxLINK and E-Z Cup. Four drugs (benzoylecgonine, THC, methamphetamine and morphine) were tested using the Multi4 card using control materials (Detectabuse Stat-Skreen; Biochemical Diagnostics, Edgewood, NY, USA). The concentrations (-50%, -25%, +25%, +50% and 3× cut-off values) of the control materials were confirmed by mass spectrometry. Concordance rates were calculated around cut-offs. All devices showed high overall agreement rates of >90% with a few exceptions: the DxLINK exhibited lower sensitivity for benzoylecgonine, methadone and nortriptyline (60% and 30%, 92% and 40%, and 96% and 60% sensitivity at +50% and +25% cut-off levels, respectively). The E-Z Cup exhibited lower sensitivity for oxazepam and nortriptyline (97% and 50%, and 97% and 40% sensitivity at +50% and +25% cut-off levels, respectively). We additionally evaluated test-band color by visual inspection using a standard color-scale card. When detailed color criteria for determination of positivity were applied for the E-Z Cup, using slightly less stringent criteria, oxazepam, buprenorphine, MDMA and nortriptyline showed increases in sensitivity from 70-80% to 90-100%, all with a specificity above 98%. Overall, all devices exhibited satisfactory performance at ±50% cut-off levels for commonly used drugs, with the exception of lower sensitivity for cocaine testing for DxLINK. Careful evaluation of devices and elaborate calibration of visual interpretation for determining positivity may help improve the performance of these devices.