Charm Kidney Inhibition Swab Test (KIS)

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The Charm Kidney Inhibition Swab (KIS) test is an inhibition test used to detect antimicrobial drugs in fresh or thawed kidney tissue. The KIS test is used most frequently by USDA-FSIS inspectors to test beef and pork kidney in slaughter facilities. The KIS test has also been adapted for on-farm testing of antibiotics in water, feed extracts, poultry serum and live animal urine and serum samples, making it an ideal tool for pre-harvest HACCP. USDA inspectors began using the KIS test to test cattle and swine for antibiotics prior to 2011.

The KIS test is easy to perform. Cut open the kidney and collect a tissue sample on the KIS swab. Turn the swab to mix the sample with the reagents and incubate. Results are ready in about three hours and are read visually as a color change.

The reagents, which include bacteria and a pH indicator, start out blue/purple. If antibiotics are absent, the bacteria grow and reproduce which changes the color to yellow/green. If antibiotics are present in the tissue sample, bacterial growth is inhibited and the sample remains blue/purple.

To ensure accurate results, KIS reagents are self-contained, solvent-free, and pre-measured in a single-use disposable swab format. Negative control reagent is supplied separately.


  • Detects broad class of antimicrobial drugs encompassing 5 antimicrobial classes near US tolerance levels and EU MRLs
  • Used by all USDA-FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) inspectors at slaughter facilities
  • Designed for testing animal kidneys at slaughter but adaptable to tissue and can be used as a live animal pre-screen for antimicrobial contamination
  • Adaptable to on-farm testing of antibiotics in water, feed extracts, poultry serum, and live animal urine
  • Easy: Swab tissue with sample, dip swab in reagents, and incubate
  • Results in 3 hours
  • Results read visually

Regulatory Info

  • Detects antimicrobial drugs near US tolerance levels. The KIS test is used by USDA inspectors to test cattle and swine for antibiotics.
  • USDA Phase II of KIS implementation
  • USDA Phase IV of KIS test implementation
  • Detects antimicrobial drugs near EU MRLs. Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) guidelines available upon request.




The KIS Test is easily read on:

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