Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Our interest in toxins is based on the effects of these substances on living creatures, especially humans. For much of our work in the US Department of Agriculture, we strictly reject false positives to avoid unnecessary disruptions in commodity trade. Our research is focused on discovery of methods for detection of only active toxins that are orally bioavailable. Our assays must be sensitive enough to detect less than 1 LD50 per serving, which is typically 250 g. And they must function in physically and chemically complex foods, such as ground beef and bologna. Our assay platforms include cell culture based assays and a variety of mechanism-based assays, all of which must be calibrated against “gold standard” animal bioassays. Although we work on assays for a variety of Select Agent toxins, this presentation will be limited to assays for botulinum neurotoxin and ricin.