Detection of Enterobacterial Lipopolysaccharides and Experimental Endotoxemia by Means of an Immunolimulus Assay Using Both Serotype- Specific and Cross-Reactive Antibodies


The immunolimulus (IML) assay system uses solid-phase endotoxin antibodies to capture lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is then quantified by a modification of the chromogenic limulus amebocyte lysate (CLAL) method. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) reactive with selected 0 anti-gen serotypes of Escherichia coli (018) and Salmonella typhimurium (0-9,12), when used in the IML, were shown to be highly specific in detecting their respective endotoxins in purified form and in plasma samples from experimentally infected animals. A murine MAb that was broadly cross-reactive with E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella endotoxins also proved to be highly effective in the IML assay for capturing LPS molecules from both E. coli and S. typhimurium strains. These results indicate that IML assays can detect smooth-type enterobacterial endotoxins in plasma and suggest that such assays have potential for use in the rapid diagnosis of sepsis and endotoxemia caused by different enterobacterial species. As many as 600,000 episodes of sepsis occur annually in the United States and about half of these cases are associated with positive blood cultures [I]. About half of all cases of sepsis are thought to be caused by gram-negative organism

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