Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) to Detect Botulinum Toxins Using High Titer Rabbit Antisera

  • Gerri M. Ransom
  • Wei H. Lee
  • Elisa L. Elliot
  • Charles P. Lattuada


Botulinum toxin types A through G are potent neurotoxic proteins produced by heterogeneous clostridia.1–5 Conventional testing for botulinum toxin is done by mouse bioassay. Toxin type is determined by the mouse protection assay using specific botulinum toxin antisera.6 The mouse bioassay is a useful test allowing a direct and sensitive determination of LD50 and antibody titers. However the test involves tedious manipulations and the use of live animals. Notermans et al.7 pioneered the development of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for toxins A, B, and E. Since then, numerous radioimmunoassays8 and ELISAs9–18 for detecting botulinum toxins have been published. All are immunoassays, and therefore the results are not strictly comparable to the biological activity measured in the mouse bioassay. Since antibodies and toxin standards needed to perform ELISAs are not generally available, these tests cannot readily be duplicated by other laboratories.


Botulinum Toxin Capture Antibody Botulinum Toxin Type Botulinum Neurotoxin Clostridium Botulinum 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerri M. Ransom
    • 1
  • Wei H. Lee
    • 1
  • Elisa L. Elliot
    • 1
  • Charles P. Lattuada
    • 1
  1. 1.Food Safety and Inspection ServiceUnited States Department of AgricultureBeltsvilleUSA

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