Chemical technology news from across RSC Publishing.
Immunoassays put pay to foal play
18 January 2008
French scientists have designed tests to catch cheats who use prohibited drugs to dope racehorses.
Somatotropin, a protein hormone, increases muscle strength. Recombinant equine somatotropin is banned in horseracing since it can enhance the performance of the horse, giving them an unfair advantage. Somatotropin can be used legitimately to help repair tendon or bone injuries in horses, or to improve the condition of horses that no longer race.
Ludovic Bailly-Chouriberry, who works at both the Laboratory of Horse Racing in Verrières-le-Buisson and the National Veterinary School in Nantes, and colleagues have developed a method to test for somatotropin based on detection of antibodies raised against the hormone in serum or plasma.
Other tests to screen for somatotropin abuse, the researchers said, include the detection of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) whose production is also triggered by somatotropin. They hope that by detecting antibodies instead of IGF-1 a longer period for screening will be possible.
- Ludovic Bailly-Chouriberry, National Veterinary School, Nantes
Bailly-Chouriberry said that this could also provide a cheap and important tool to indirectly detect insulin or recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) misuse through the detection of their antibodies, supposing it can be adapted.
Link to journal article
Detection of secondary biomarker of met-eGH as a strategy to screen for somatotropin misuse in horseracing
Ludovic Bailly-Chouriberry, Emeline Chu-Van, Gaud Pinel, Patrice Garcia, Marie-Agnès Popot, Geneviève André-Fontaine, Yves Bonnaire and Bruno Le Bizec, Analyst, 2008, 133, 270
Also of interest
Detecting designer steroids used to cheat in horse racing and other sports has been made easier thanks to Australian scientists.
Researchers in Germany and Canada have developed a test that could help to crack down on drug cheats in sport.
Urine test identifies metabolites of a synthetic form of insulin used by cheats to enhance performance