Monoclonal antibodies and their use to identify morphine in biological fluids: a systematic review

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Maura Epifanía Matus Ortega
Juan Carlos Calva Nieves
Alberto Salazar-Juárez
Susana Barbosa-Méndez
Genaro Matus-Ortega


Introduction: indiscriminate use of opioids has increased dependency disorder and has been linked to half a million deaths worldwide in the last year. This justifies the exploration of alternative therapies for the treatment of addiction and overdose emergencies. Specific monoclonal antibodies have been produced for morphine and its metabolites for use in analytical identification tests in biological fluids from the experimental development of vaccines against these drugs.

Objective: review scientific publications on monoclonal antibodies that identify morphine and its metabolites, to know its properties and the scope of its implementation in diagnostic tests.

Method: systematic research of scientific literature in PubMed, ScienceDirect, SciELO and LILACS databases, published until September 2021, including articles on generation of monoclonal antibodies for morphine and its metabolites, and excluding those specialized only in molecular structure, point mutations and computational molecular dynamics.

Results: 18 articles were identified where the production of 61 specific monoclonal antibodies for morphine and/or its metabolites was reported, and in which they characterized the specificity, sensitivity and/or detection range of the antibodies by evaluating 46 different substances, coupled to diagnostic tests.

Discussion and conclusions: The production of monoclonal antibodies with high sensitivity and recognition for morphine and its metabolites has allowed their use in the development of sensitive analytical tests at affordable cost, which can be implemented in the clinical diagnosis and the surveillance of the use of these substances in the population.

monoclonal antibodies ,  morphine ,  addiction ,  diagnostic
Published: May 15, 2023

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How to Cite
Matus Ortega ME, Calva Nieves JC, Salazar-Juárez A, Barbosa-Méndez S, Matus-Ortega G. Monoclonal antibodies and their use to identify morphine in biological fluids: a systematic review. RIIAD [Internet]. 2023 May 15 [cited 2023 Sep. 23];9(1):88-100. Available from:
Review articles