A need has existed for the accurate identification of monofluoroacetate (MFA) poisoning in southern Africa. The development of a new method for the determination of MFA has made the analysis of a variety of biological samples (n=50) feasible. The method has been used in the laboratory over 24 months. Monofluoroacetate was present in 66% of samples from cases of suspected poisoning, reflecting the extent of the problem. Stability of MFA in samples was also determined so as to have a time-bound baseline for the acceptance of samples submitted. It was found that there was a decrease in the level of MFA and, after 14 days at room temperature, only 50% of the spiked dose could be identified. It is suggested that samples be analyzed within 7 days of mortality if they not kept frozen.
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