EtGThe DrugCheck Rapid EtG point-of-care test from Express Diagnostics International Inc, Blue Earth, Minn, is the first lateral-flow test for ethyl glucuronide (EtG), a biomarker of alcohol use. In contrast to time-consuming laboratory-based tests, the urine test can provide results in less than 1 minute at a fraction of the cost.

Paul Johnson, CEO of Express Diagnostics, referred to the test as a “game-changer” for the onsite testing industry. “Compared to the typical process, whereby tens of thousands of specimens nationwide are shipped each day for lab-based EtG tests, our new Rapid EtG test offers unheard of flexibility and efficiency for alcohol abstinence monitoring. The tremendous cost and time savings that the DrugCheck Rapid EtG offers administrators will be truly transformative for those organizations currently testing for EtG, not to mention the additional forensic-use markets that will now employ EtG testing due to the superior convenience, accuracy, and speed of this instant test.”

Because alcohol is rapidly cleared from the body, detection times in traditional alcohol (ethanol) testing are limited to a few hours after use, posing significant challenges for abstinence monitoring in criminal justice, treatment center, and military settings. By contrast, EtG is a unique biological marker of alcohol use that can be detected up to 80 hours after alcohol ingestion.

Although EtG testing by laboratories first emerged around 2005, adoption was limited due to concerns over potential false-positive results resulting from environmental alcohol exposure (such as through mouthwash or hand sanitizers). Since then, research has established appropriate cutoffs for accurate detection of the biomarker. The DrugCheck Rapid EtG test sets detection levels at 500 ng/mL, widely considered the optimal threshold for abstinence monitoring, according to the company.

To perform the test, users dip a test strip into a urine sample for 15 seconds. Negative results can emerge within 1 minute, while positive results appear within 5 minutes and remain stable for 2 hours. The test has a shelf life of 2 years from date of manufacture. The test is for forensic use only and is intended for use in law enforcement settings.

For more information, visit Express Diagnostics.