Determination of rodenticides and related metabolites in rabbit liver and biological matrices by liquid chromatography coupled to Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry

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An analytical method based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) coupled to Orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry was developed for the determination of rodenticides (bromadiolone, brodifacoum, difenacoum, chlorophacinone, diphacinone, coumachlor and warfarin) in liver matrix. Different extraction conditions were tested, obtaining the best results when the “dilute and shoot” method (acidified acetonitrile as extraction solvent) and a clean-up step with primary secondary amine (PSA) were used. The optimized method was validated, obtaining recoveries ranging from 60 to 120%. Repeatability and reproducibility were evaluated obtaining values lower than 20%, except for brodifacoum at 10 μg/kg. Limits of quantification (LOQs) ranged from 0.1 to 0.5 μg/kg, except for brodifacoum, which was 100 μg/kg. Six liver samples were analyzed and diphacinone and chlorophacinone were detected in three samples at concentrations ranging from 4 μg/kg to 13 μg/kg. Moreover a retrospective screening of rodenticide metabolites in those samples and in animal forensic samples was developed based on Orbitrap capabilities. Brodifacoum was detected in three samples, and warfarin alcohol, which is a metabolite of warfarin, was also detected in one sample.

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