Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2008
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Environmental microbiology does not deal with all aspects of immunology or the immune responses per se, but instead adapts immunology-based research technologies or immunoassays for the study of microorganisms and chemical contaminants in association with the environment. The primary immunologic-based tool used in environmental microbiology is the antibody. In this chapter, an introduction to antibodies is given with respect to structure of antibodies, the various classes of antibodies [immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, etc.], and the interaction of antibodies with foreign objects (antigens). Following this introduction, several of the basic immunological methodologies (immunoassays) that are widely used in environmental microbiology are discussed. These immunoassays include fluorescent immunolabeling, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), magnetic bead antigen capture, Western immunoblotting, immunoaffinity chromatography, and immunoprecipitation. Finally, in order to provide perspective and illustrate how these immunoassays can be used in the field of environmental microbiology, an example of each immunoassay is provided in relation to current research topics such as bioremediation and pathogen detection.