beta (1-->3)-Glucans are known for their potent ability to induce nonspecific inflammatory reactions and are believed to play a role in bioaerosol-induced respiratory symptoms. An inhibition enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was developed for the quantitation of beta (1-->3)-glucans in dust samples from occupational and residential environments. Immunospecific rabbit antibodies were produced by immunization with bovine serum albumin-conjugated laminarin [beta (1-->3)-glucan] and affinity chromatography on epoxy-Sepharose-coupled beta (1-->3)-glucans. The laminarin-based calibration curve in the inhibition EIA ranged from approximately 40 to 3,000 ng/ml (15 to 85% inhibition). Another beta (1-->3)-glucan (curdlan) showed a similar inhibition curve but was three to five times less reactive on a weight basis. Pustulan, presumed to be a beta (1-->6)-glucan, showed a parallel dose-response curve at concentrations 10 times higher than that of laminarin. Control experiments with NaIO4 and beta (1-->3)-glucanase treatment to destroy beta (1-->6)- and beta (1-->3)-glucan structures, respectively, indicate that the immunoreactivity of pustulan in the assay was due to beta (1-->3)-glucan and not to beta (1-->6)-glucan structures. Other polysaccharides, such as mannan and alpha (1-->6)-glucan, did not react in the inhibition EIA. Beta (1-->3)-Glucan extraction of dust samples in water (with mild detergent) was performed by heat treatment (120 degrees C) because aqueous extracts obtained at room temperature did not contain detectable beta (1-->3)-glucan levels. The assay was shown to detect heat-extractable beta (1-->3)-glucan in dust samples collected in a variety of occupational and environmental settings. On the basis of duplicate analyses of dust samples, a coefficient of variation of approximately 25% was calculated. It was concluded that the new inhibition EIA offers a useful method for indoor beta (1-->3)-glucan exposure assessment.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|