Concentrations of chloramine-T must be monitored during experimental treatments of fish when studying the effectiveness of the drug for controlling bacterial gill disease. A surrogate analytical method for analysis of chloramine-T to replace the existing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method is described. A surrogate method was needed because the existing HPLC method is expensive, requires a specialist to use, and is not generally available at fish hatcheries. Criteria for selection of a replacement method included ease of use, analysis time, cost, safety, sensitivity, accuracy, and precision. The most promising approach was to use the determination of chlorine concentrations as an indicator of chloramine-T. Of the currently available methods for analysis of chlorine, the DPD (N,N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine) colorimetric method best fit the established criteria. The surrogate method was evaluated under a variety of water quality conditions. Regression analysis of all DPD colorimetric analyses with the HPLC values produced a linear model (Y=0.9602 X+0.1259) with an r2 value of 0.9960. The average accuracy (percent recovery) of the DPD method relative to the HPLC method for the combined set of water quality data was 101.5%. The surrogate method was also evaluated with chloramine-T solutions that contained various concentrations of fish feed or selected densities of rainbow trout. When samples were analyzed within 2 h, the results of the surrogate method were consistent with those of the HPLC method. When samples with high concentrations of organic material were allowed to age more than 2 h before being analyzed, the DPD method seemed to be susceptible to interference, possibly from the development of other chloramine compounds. However, even after aging samples 6 h, the accuracy of the surrogate DPD method relative to the HPLC method was within the range of 80–120%. Based on the data comparing the two methods, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the DPD colorimetric method is appropriate to use to measure chloramine-T in water during pivotal efficacy trials designed to support the approval of chloramine-T for use in fish culture.
Additional publication details
A simple analytical procedure to replace HPLC for monitoring treatment concentrations of chloramine-T on fish culture facilities