Definition - What does Analytes mean?
Analytes refer to the molecular compounds of drug classes and their derivative subclasses that attach to specific antibodies, serving as enzymatic biomarkers that are detectable in urine or oral fluid specimens following drug screening procedures. An immunoassay test is the baseline methodology for assessing target analytes for suspect drug types, using a tabular format for interpretive analyses between initial drug screens and confirmation testing.
SureHire explains Analytes
A common issue when performing immunoassay tests is cross-reactivity of analytes with a similar biochemical makeup, where two otherwise separate catalytic agents bind to the same antibody with an incompatible structure, leading to false positives. Incidentally, analytes feature cutoff threshold values that coincide with different drug class/subclass categories highlighting the initial screen and confirmatory test variables, independent of anomalies (i.e. prescription medication), accounting for skewed test results. Employers can order drug panels to test for suspected drug analytes based on the requested licit and illicit substances with corresponding cutoff levels including, but not limited to, the following: amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opioids alongside their derivative compounds, and phencyclidine (PCP).
For employers, the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace aligned with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) underscores cutoff concentration ranges as determinants for target analytes found in the system pending positive test results.
In many cases, a donor may oppose an immunoassay test due to an erroneous positive test result found in urine or oral fluid specimens, suggesting recent drug use; however, different molecular compounds can mimic the target analyte. For this reason, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) are confirmatory testing procedures designed to help modulate polarities in the biochemical makeup of drug analytes in the same class. Moreover, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) is a certified physician who coordinates the test findings from the initial screening and the confirmation testing based on GC-MS/LC-MS/MS correlative metrics, noting concentration grade variations in target drug analytes.