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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Aug;100(2):229-34.

Quantification of the major brown shrimp allergen Pen a 1 (tropomyosin) by a monoclonal antibody-based sandwich ELISA.

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Tulane University Medical Center, Department of Medicine. New Orleans, La. 70112, USA.



Among 13 allergens found in extracts of cooked brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) the 36 kd muscle protein tropomyosin has been identified as the only major shrimp allergen (Pen a 1). Cross-reacting molecules with similar molecular weights were detected in other crustacea species such as crab, lobster, and crawfish. Because Pen a 1 and Pen a 1-like allergens are important in crustacea allergy, the aim of this study was to develop a monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based sandwich ELISA to quantify Pen a 1 and to evaluate Pen a 1 levels in four commercial shrimp, crab, and lobster extracts.


Two Pen a 1-specific mAbs with different epitope specificities were selected. ELISA plates coated with captured mAb 3.2 were incubated with samples containing Pen a 1. Bound Pen a 1 was detected by a combination of biotinylated mAb 4.9.5 and alkaline phosphatase-labeled streptavidin.


The optimized sandwich ELISA could detect Pen a 1 concentrations ranging from 4 to 125 ng/ml. Four commercial shrimp extracts demonstrated a 40-fold difference in Pen a 1 levels (24 to 920 microg/ml). Crab and lobster extracts contained detectable levels of Pen a 1-like proteins. No reactivity to cockroach, house dust mite, oyster, codfish, or peanut extracts was detected, which indicates that the developed assay is crustacea-specific.


A sensitive sandwich assay was developed to quantify Pen a 1. This assay will be helpful to standardize shrimp extracts in regard to the content of the major allergen, Pen a 1, and to study cross-reactivities among and evaluate occupational exposure to different crustacea species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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