Endogenous prevalence of forbidden substances in livestock

Forbidden substances horizontaal

Guideline 96/22/EC forbids the use of hormonal or thyreostatic agents as growth promoters in livestock in the European Union. The constant monitoring of potential abuse of these products is still mandatory to guarantee the public health. However, not only the commonly known steroids can occur naturally, but some other illegal products, formerly accepted to be only synthetic, may occur endogenously depending on species and circumstances. This raises several research questions that need to be answered.
Firstly, an evaluation of the endogenous residue-levels, recorded in agreement with the levels of control, needs to be performed in order to establish a statistically-based threshold value (in relation to species, geographical region, …). Secondly, alternative biomarkers need to be identified, allowing the discrimination between exogenously administered and endogenously metabolized compounds. Furthermore, the potential health risk of these low levels of endogenous residues remains to be investigated. Our lab additionally aims to unravel the mechanistic pathway(s) that is (are) responsible for the metabolisation of these endogenous compounds.

Finished projects

  • ENDOCORT: Endogenous formation and metabolism of glucocorticoids in cattle (FOD Public health): Nathalie De Clercq - view PhD
  • Impact of feed and environmental factors on the endogenous formation of thyreostats and the thyroid metabolism in livestock (BOF): Julie Kiebooms - view PhD
  • THYREOMERK: Biomarker approach as alternative method for tracing residues of exogenously administered thyreostats in livestock (FOD Public health): Jella Wauters & Lieven Van Meulebroek
  • Biotransformation of phytosterols as a plausible mechanism for the endogenous prevalence of boldenone in horses (Collaborative project Les Courses Hippiques): Anneleen Decloedt - view PhD