Background: The demonstration that some asthma epidemics have been caused by allergens of soybean-hull dust prompted us to develop a two-site ELISA, suitable for the quantification of the major allergen (Gly m 1), to be used for the prevention of new episodes.
Methods: BALB/c mice were injected with Gly m 1 purified from soybean hulls. After fusion and screening, 10 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were obtained that were shown to be specific for Gly m 1. Two of them (6G1 as the capture antibody; 1G10 as the tracer) were selected to develop a quantitative two-site ELISA for the indoor and outdoor determination of Gly m 1.
Results: The two-site ELISA developed is very sensitive, with a detection limit of less than 0.2 ng/ml and a practical working range of 0.4–10 ng/ml. The assay is also highly reproducible with an intra-assay coefficient of variation of 3.5% and an interassay coefficient of variation of 12.5%. The method was applied to measure the concentration of Gly m 1 in air-sampler filters and in house-dust samples. Our results illustrate that there is a good correlation between the content of Gly m 1 in a number of samples and the allergenic activity as measured by ELISA inhibition.
Conclusions: A specific and sensitive method is presented that can be used for the quantification of Gly m 1. The application of this method may allow the establishment of risk limits for soybean dust, and thus may contribute to the control of environmental contamination and to the prevention of new asthma epidemics.