Development of an ELISA for evaluation of swab recovery efficiencies of bovine serum albumin

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After a potential biological incident the sampling strategy and sample analysis are crucial for the outcome of the investigation and identification. In this study, we have developed a simple sandwich ELISA based on commercial components to quantify BSA (used as a surrogate for ricin) with a detection range of 1.32-80 ng/mL. We used the ELISA to evaluate different protein swabbing procedures (swabbing techniques and after-swabbing treatments) for two swab types: a cotton gauze swab and a flocked nylon swab. The optimal swabbing procedure for each swab type was used to obtain recovery efficiencies from different surface materials. The surface recoveries using the optimal swabbing procedure ranged from 0-60% and were significantly higher from nonporous surfaces compared to porous surfaces. In conclusion, this study presents a swabbing procedure evaluation and a simple BSA ELISA based on commercial components, which are easy to perform in a laboratory with basic facilities. The data indicate that different swabbing procedures were optimal for each of the tested swab types, and the particular swab preference depends on the surface material to be swabbed.




Sparding, N., Slotved, H. C., Nicolaisen, G. M., Giese, S. B., Elmlund, J., & Steenhard, N. R. (2014). Development of an ELISA for evaluation of swab recovery efficiencies of bovine serum albumin. PLoS ONE, 9(11).

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