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Anal Biochem. 2010 Jun 15;401(2):271-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2010.02.040. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Sensitive detection of multiplex toxins using antibody microarray.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Using a newly developed fluorescent nanoparticle (NP) that gives rise to a high-intensity and stable fluorescent light, a sensitive antibody (Ab) microarray assay system has been developed for specific detection of bioterrorism agents, as exemplified by ricin, cholera toxin (CT), and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). The Ab microarray uses a sandwich format that consists of capture Abs, analytes (toxins), biotinylated detection Abs, and avidin-conjugated NP. In all three cases, polyclonal Abs (pAbs) displayed superiority over monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in capturing toxins on microarray slides even when the pAbs and mAbs had similar affinity as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The detection system was successfully used to detect toxins spiked in milk, apple cider, and blood samples. We were able to detect ricin at 100 pg/ml in buffer and at 1 ng/ml in spiked apple cider or milk, whereas CT and SEB were detected at 10 pg/ml in buffer and 100 pg/ml in spiked apple cider or milk. High specificities were also demonstrated in the detection of mixed toxin samples with similar sensitivities. The matrix effect of blood samples on the detection of mixed toxins seems to be minimal when the toxin concentration is at or above 100 ng/ml. The current study highlights the significant role of pAb and NP in increasing selectivity and sensitivity of toxin detection in a microarray format.

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