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Subtribe-specific monoclonal antibodies to Lolium perenne


Tovey Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Room 461 Blackburn Building (D06), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Background and objectives

The ability to measure personal exposure to airborne grass pollen is important in the understanding of allergic diseases. Visual identification is time consuming and it is difficult to distinguish between many grass pollens morphologically. Although grass pollens share common allergenic determinants, we attempted to produce monoclonal antibodies that would distinguish between species, tribes and subfamilies of grasses which would allow immunodetection of pollens.


Monoclonal antibodies raised against Lolium perenne were screened for specificity against an extended panel of grass pollen extracts using standard ELISA techniques and a novel particle blotting assay using whole pollen grains.


Antibodies showing specificity ranging from subfamily to part-tribe specificity were raised. The most specific monoclonal antibodies (numbers 4, 13 and 17) had reactivity to Lolium perenne and Festuca elatior but displayed little cross-reactivity to Phalaris arundinaceae and the rest of the Poeae tribe when tested by ELISA and no detectable cross-reaction when tested with particle blotting.


Monoclonal antibodies that are functionally specific to only two grasses can be produced and used to discriminate between related grass species.

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