EtG test strips detect the presence of the metabolite Ethyl Glucuronide in urine samples.The presence of EtG in urine is an indication of alcohol consumption, even after a few days since the last intake. These strips are commonly used in substance abuse treatment programs, probation, and for workplace testing. But how accurate are EtG test strips? Read on.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine considers EtG test strips highly accurate when detecting the presence of EtG in urine samples. It states, “POCT EtG-I urine measurement can be considered a routine test for monitoring recent alcohol intake.”
How Accurate Are EtG Test Strips? Important Factors to Consider
1. They are based on ELISA
Alcohol test strips use an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) to detect the presence of EtG in urine. This immunoassay is used by technicians in medical laboratories due to its high sensitivity.
ELISA uses the principle of antigen-antibody binding, where a specific antibody detects the presence of a particular antigen in a sample. In the case of EtG test strips, the antibody used is specific to EtG, and it binds to the EtG present in the urine sample, resulting in a positive test result.
2. They can detect alcohol longer than breathalyzers
EtG is a stable metabolite slowly eliminated in urine. That’s why EtG strips can detect this substance 80 hours after consumption. They’re unlike breathalyzer tests which can only detect alcohol a few hours after consuming it. This makes EtG test strips a valuable tool for monitoring alcohol in individuals undergoing treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction. So, even if a breathalyzer does not detect alcohol in a person, an EtG test strip will.
What Can Affect Their Accuracy?
1. Foods and medications that may contain alcohol naturally or artificially
False positives may occur due to other substances in the urine. For example, pain killers or cough syrups that contain alcohol as an ingredient may affect the results. Additionally, some foods and beverages, like ripe fruits or vinegar, can also cause false positives. Instances like these may be rare, but they can happen. So if you’re a new technician about to test individuals, it’ll be best to ask them on their latest food or beverage intake.
2. Using unreliable drug test strips
There are plenty of alcohol test strips out there. The question is – which should you use to ensure accuracy of results? Should you opt for cheap tests ? When it comes to this type of test, it’s always safe to buy from a reputable vendor that only sells high quality, CLIA-waived and FDA-approved EtG test strips. It’ll also be a good idea to check customer testimonials.
3. Improper use of alcohol test strips
Regardless of how highly accurate a drug test strip is, if you don’t use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you will not get good results. Always make sure that you collect an ample amount of urine and allow the recommended developing time to finish.
EtG test strips are safe and highly accurate in detecting EtG in urine samples. However, it is crucial to be aware of the limitations of these test strips, including the possibility of false positives and their inability to distinguish between different levels of alcohol consumption.
How accurate are EtG test strips? To make sure you’re getting the best out of each drug testing supply you buy, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Use EtG test strips in conjunction with other forms of alcohol testing to help you monitor alcohol consumption in various settings.
If you need top quality, accurate EtG test strips or other drug testing supplies, visit the Ovus Medical Store. All our products are CLIA-waived and FDA-approved.