Modified immunoassays for polyether toxins: implications of biological matrixes, metabolic states, and epitope recognition

D G Baden, R Melinek, V Sechet, V L Trainer, D R Schultz, K S Rein, C R Tomas, J Delgado, L Hale
Journal of AOAC International 1995, 78 (2): 499-508
Polyether marine toxins are responsible for the seafood intoxication phenomena known as neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (due to brevetoxins), ciguatera (due to ciguatoxin), and diarrheic shellfish poisoning (due to okadaic acid). Using traditional techniques of hapten (pure toxin) conjugation to protein to create complete antigen, animal immunization and antibody isolation, and specific antibody subpopulation purification, discriminating antibodies have been isolated that detect brevetoxins and ciguatoxin, but not okadaic acid, in a dose-dependent fashion. Using microorganic chemistry and purified toxins, a unique set of tools has been created for the study of polyether ladder toxin accumulation; depuration; and specific site localization in tissues, food sources, and clinical samples. Developed test protocols can detect toxin in dinoflagellate cells, in extracts from food sources, in seawater and culture media, and in human serum samples. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocols developed for eventual collaborative testing have been successful in limited applications within the laboratory (correlation coefficient of 0.92 excluding 2 outliers), and alternative formats are being developed to optimize the basic test for use in research laboratories, regulatory laboratories, and field inspections.

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