Evaluation of a Commercial Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for the Determination of the Neurotoxin BMAA in Surface Waters

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Abstract

The neurotoxin ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is suspected to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Because BMAA seems to be produced by cyanobacteria, surface waters are screened for BMAA. However, reliable analysis of BMAA requires specialized and expensive equipment. In 2012, a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for determination of BMAA in surface waters was released. This kit could enable fast and relatively cheap screening of surface waters for BMAA. The objective of this study was to determine whether the BMAA ELISA kit was suitable for the determination of BMAA concentrations in surface waters. We hypothesised that the recovery of spiked samples was close to 100% and that the results of unspiked sample analysis were comparable between ELISA and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. However, we found that recovery was higher than 100% in most spiked samples, highest determined recovery was over 400%. Furthermore, the ELISA gave a positive signal for nearly each tested sample while no BMAA could be detected by LC-MS/MS. We therefore conclude that in its current state, the kit is not suitable for screening surface waters for BMAA.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere65260
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • methylamino-l-alanine
  • amino-acid
  • mass-spectrometry
  • cyanobacteria
  • chromatography
  • seeds
  • guam

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