Submitted to: Journal of Association of Official Analytical Chemists International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2004
Publication Date: 11/4/2004
Citation: Schmitt, D.A., Maleki, S.J., Cheng, H. 2004. A competitive inhibition elisa assay for the quantification of ara h 1 and ara h 2, the major allergens of peanuts. Journal of Association of Official Analytical Chemists International.
Interpretive Summary: Peanut allergies are becoming an increasingly important health problem for two reasons. One reason is that allergies to peanuts are more likely to persist into adulthood and not be outgrown, as are allergies to milk, for example. The second reason that peanut allergies are becoming an increasing problem is the severity of the allergic reactions induced by peanuts in allergic individuals. Currently, there is no treatment available for peanut allergies, which means that avoidance of peanuts or peanut products is the only way peanut-allergic individuals have of preventing allergic reactions. However, avoidance of such an abundant and often disguised food such as peanuts is very difficult. This is one reason that we developed a fairly sensitive immunological assay to detect two of the major peanut allergens, Ara h 1 and Ara h 2. This simple and relatively quick assay could possibly be used to detect the presence of peanuts in food, which would help peanut-allergic individuals avoid the induction of their allergic reaction.
Technical Abstract: Allergies to peanuts are becoming an increasingly important health problem, due to the persistence and severity of the reaction in allergic individuals. Since there is no treatment currently available, avoidance is the only option for peanut allergic individuals. Avoidance of an abundant and often disguised food such as peanuts is very difficult, which is one of the reasons that competitive inhibition ELISA assays were developed to detect and quantitate each of the major peanut allergens, Ara h 1 and Ara h 2. Using the optimal conditions for each assay, we found that the sensitivity of the Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 detection assays were 25 ng/ml and 0.5 ng/ml, respectively. These assays were primarily devised to effectively compare the levels of Ara h 1 and Ara h 2 in a wide variety of peanuts or peanut products, and can also be used to identify cross-reactive antigens. This method is simple, rapid, requires only one primary antibody, and therefore, could be utilized to specifically detect the presence of these individual allergens in different foods.