Immunological Detection of Fusarium Species in Cornmeal

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An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to detect Fusarium species in foods. Antibodies to proteins extracted from the mycelia of Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium moniliforme (verticillioides) were produced in New Zealand white rabbits. These antibodies detected 13 Fusarium species in addition to the producer strains. Levels of Fusarium semitectum and Fusarium tricinctum strains were below the detection threshold. The specificity of the assay was tested against 70 molds and yeasts belonging to 23 genera. One strain of Monascus species and one strain of Phoma exigua were detected; however, these two molds are not common contaminants of cereal grains or foods and should not interfere with the assay. The indirect ELISA's detection limits for F. graminearum and F. moniliforme were 0.1 and 1 μg of mold mycelium per ml of a cornmeal mixture, respectively. When spores of each mold were added individually to cornmeal mixtures (at ca. 10 spores per g) and incubated at 25°C, these spores were detected by the indirect ELISA when they reached levels of 102 to 103 CFU/ml after 24 to 36 h. The indirect ELISA developed here shows promise for the detection of Fusarium species in grains or foods.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, 1160 Food Science Building, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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