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A Toxin-free Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay For The Analysis Of Aflatoxins Based On A VHH Surrogate Standard

Y. Wang, P. Li, Qi Zhang, X. Hu, W. Zhang
Published 2016 · Chemistry, Medicine

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AbstractA toxin-free enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for aflatoxins was developed using an anti-idiotype nanobody VHH 2–5 as surrogate standard. Anti-idiotype nanobody VHH 2–5 was generated by immunizing an alpaca with anti-aflatoxin monoclonal antibody 1C11. This assay was used to detect aflatoxins in agro-products after a simple extraction with 75 % methanol/H2O. Aflatoxin concentration was calculated by a two-step approach: the concentration of VHH 2–5 was first obtained by a four-parameter logistic regression from the detected absorbance value at 450 nm, and then converted to aflatoxin concentration by a linear equation. The assay exhibits a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.015 ng mL−1, which is better than or comparable with conventional immunoassays. The performance of our VHH surrogate-based ELISA was further validated with a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for total aflatoxins determination in 20 naturally contaminated peanut samples, displaying a good correlation (R2 = 0.988). In conclusion, the proposed assay represents a first example applying an anti-idiotype VHH antibody as a standard surrogate in ELISA. With the advantages of high stability and ease of production, the VHH antibody-based standard surrogate can be extended in the future to immunoassays for other highly toxic compounds. Graphical Abstractᅟ
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