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Amplified Immunoassay ELISA-ELCA for Measuring Clostridium botulinum Type E Neurotoxin in Fish Fillets

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The measurement of Clostridium botulinum type E toxin in fish was accomplished using an amplified immunoassay (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-enzyme-linked coagulation assay [ELISA-ELCA]) based on the coagulation cascade. Fresh catfish fillets inoculated with a mixture of spores from five strains of C. botulinum type E were packaged in high barrier film with air, vacuum and modified atmosphere and stored at 4, 8 or 16°C for up to 75 days. Toxin production was monitored during storage by both mouse bioassay (trypsin and non-trypsin treated) and ELISA-ELCA on the non-trypsinized samples. All 26 inoculated products that were positive by the mouse bioassay were also positive by ELISA-ELCA. Of 35 uninoculated samples which were not toxic in mouse bioassay, none were positive by ELISA-ELCA; of 73 inoculated samples which were not toxic by mouse bioassay, 14 had toxin measurable by the ELISA-ELCA. The position of these immunoassay-positives in the sampling sequence indicated that the toxin was identified by the immunoassay before it was found in the mouse bioassay. These results suggest that the ELISA-ELCA technique is a usable alternative to the mouse bioassay for monitoring C. botulinum type E toxin production in fish challenge studies.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Kraft General Foods, Inc., Technology Center Glenview, Illinois 60025 2: National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Food and Drug Administration Division of Food Processing and Packaging, Summit-Argo, Illinois 60501 3: Division of Microbiological Studies, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC 20204 4: Elcatech, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101; Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University Medical School, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1016 5: Elcatech, Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101

Publication date: November 1, 1994

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