Background Parietaria pollen is one of the most important causes of pollinosis in Mediterranean countries. Parietaria judaica pollen extract presents two major allergens, Par j 1 and Par j 2, that belong to the lipid transfer protein family.
Objective To develop an ELISA for quantification of both major allergens of P. judaica pollen extracts, and to assert correlation of these allergens content with the allergenic activity of extracts.
Methods Natural Par j 1–Par j 2 allergens were purified by gel filtration, ion exchange, and affinity chromatography and identified by mass spectrometry. Rabbit antisera were obtained using this protein preparation as antigen and used for immunoaffinity purification of nPar j 1–Par j 2. BALB/c mice were immunized with the immunopurified nPar j 1–Par j 2 and after fusion and screening by direct ELISA, 5D4 monoclonal antibody was selected as capture antibody to develop a quantitative two-site ELISA. Bound proteins were detected by a biotinylated Par j 1–Par j 2-specific polyclonal antibody.
Results The optimized ELISA was developed from 25 to 8000 pg/mL of purified Par j 1–Par j 2, and a linear portion of 200–1000 pg/mL. The intraassay and interassay coefficients of variation were lower than 7% and 14% respectively. The assay was very sensitive and specific as it had a detection limit of 25 pg/mL and did not detect reactivity with the same family plants, as Urtica. Par j 1–Par j 2 allergens content was measured in 14 P. judaica and two P. officinalis pollen extracts showing a significant correlation with their allergenic activity measured by enzyme allergosorbent test inhibition.
Conclusions The results proved the usefulness of the two-sandwich ELISA for the standardization of Parietaria pollen extracts intended for clinical use, because of its good correlation with allergenic potency.