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Measurement of personal exposure to aerosols of Nephrops norvegicus (Scampi) using a monoclonal-based assay


Peter Griffin, Health and Safety Laboratory, Broad Lane, Sheffield, S3 7HQ, UK.


Background The industrial processing of scampi (Nephrops norvegicus) generates bioaerosols which can cause occupational respiratory disease in exposed individuals. The objective of this study was to develop a monoclonal antibody-based immunoassay to measure scampi proteins collected using standard personal air sampling methods.

Methods A monoclonal antibody was generated which predominantly bound to a single 97 Kd scampi protein, which we have shown to be a major allergen. This protein was shown by SDS PAGE immunoblotting to be present in various aqueous extracts from wastes produced during scampi processing. A quantitative immunoslotblot method was developed to quantify scampi from air sample filters.

Results We demonstrated the utility of this method by showing a significant difference (P = 0.015) in the level of exposure of two groups of 12 workers processing scampi at a traditional open workstation (GM = 607 ng m−3) and at an enclosed workstation (GM = 451 ng m−3).

Conclusion We conclude that this assay can be used, in conjunction with health surveillance, to monitor exposure and the efficacy of measures to reduce exposure to airborne scampi allergen in an occupational environment.

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