Main content area

A Monoclonal Antibody Based Capture ELISA for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B: Toxin Detection in Food

Stanker, Larry H., Scotcher, Miles C., Cheng, Luisa, Ching, Kathryn, McGarvey, Jeffery, Hodge, David, Hnasko, Robert
Toxins 2013 v.5 no.11 pp. 2212
Clostridium botulinum B, bacterial contamination, binding properties, botulinum toxin, dairy products, dissociation, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, epitopes, food contamination, ground beef, monoclonal antibodies, serotypes
Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalytic disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A–H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We report here a group of serotype B specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) capable of binding toxin under physiological conditions. Thus, they serve as capture antibodies for a sandwich (capture) ELISA. The antibodies were generated using recombinant peptide fragments corresponding to the receptor-binding domain of the toxin heavy chain as immunogen. Their binding properties suggest that they bind a complex epitope with dissociation constants (KD’s) for individual antibodies ranging from 10 to 48 × 10−11 M. Assay performance for all possible combinations of capture-detector antibody pairs was evaluated and the antibody pair resulting in the lowest level of detection (L.O.D.), ~20 pg/mL was determined. Toxin was detected in spiked dairy samples with good recoveries at concentrations as low as 0.5 pg/mL and in ground beef samples at levels as low as 2 ng/g. Thus, the sandwich ELISA described here uses mAb for both the capture and detector antibodies (binding different epitopes on the toxin molecule) and readily detects toxin in those food samples tested.