An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Rapid Assessment Tools for Monitoring Food and Forage

Investigators
Hammock, Bruce
Institutions
University of California - Davis
Start date
2012
End date
2017
Objective
We propose to increase the throughput of the technology, develop new labels to detect binding and ultimately to develop field portable formats to replace the classical ELISA. At the same time, we will use classical immunoassay methods to develop assays for pesticides or other compounds of immediate interest to the agricultural sector.
More information
Non-Technical Summary:
To make rational decisions about animal, human and environmental health - whether those decisions be about pesticides, fungal toxins, drugs or other intentional or inadvertent contaminants it is important to have information about concentrations that are present. Immunoassays have been used in human clinical medicine for more than 30 years and over the last 20 years, become an important tool in monitoring feed and forage for a variety of materials ranging from genetic engineering products through food adulterants and pesticides. Immunoassays use an antibody to bind to the chemical or toxin of interest and then an enzyme or other label to detect the binding. The technique termed ELISA or enzyme linked immunosorbent assay has dominated the immunoassay field. We propose to increase the throughput of the technology, develop new labels to detect binding and ultimately to develop field portable formats to replace the classical ELISA. At the same time, we will use classical immunoassay methods to develop assays for pesticides or other compounds of immediate interest to the agricultural sector.

Approach:
The enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been used in the clinical field for more than 30 years. In agriculture it has been applied to monitoring products of genetic engineering, mycotoxins and pesticides in food, forage and the environment. In this project we will develop new immunoassays for compounds of interest to the agricultural industry. These include primarily pesticides and other contaminants that reach the food chain, such as brominated flame retardants and antimicrobial compounds.

Progress:
2012/01 TO 2012/12
OUTPUTS: Specifically during the last period we have reported on rapid field assays for the antimicrobial agent triclocarban in addition to our continuing work on general pesticides including pyrethroids. Most reports during this period focus on the improving immunoassays through a variety of technologies including use of nanoparticle labels, a phage amplification systems and through development of novel nanobodies. Each of these technologies result in incremental improvements to the immunoassays as well as improving speed, sensitivity and robustness for field applications. In addition to publications this technology has been distributed through NIOSH for worker safety, NIEHS (environmental health research) and numerous state and federal agencies. We have trained scientists from multiple countries in this technology through an ongoing training program supported by the Fulbright Foundation as well as other routes. Of course this work is presented at national and International meetings.
PARTICIPANTS: In this reporting period three postdoctoral researchers contributed to the by forming hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments, interacting with colleagues and collaborators and publishing the results. We collaborated with researchers from one University of California campus, one research organization from Thailand, one university in Uruguay and partnered with two companies in the U.S. We have trained two undergraduates from UC Davis, one UC Davis graduate student, 3 foreign graduate students, 6 post-doctoral researchers, and 1 foreign faculty member.
TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.
PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impact:
Assays developed last year and the years immediately prior to have been used to measure exposure of humans to pesticides and antimicrobial compounds demonstrating a practical application. The same assays can now be used to monitor exposure in livestock or feed and food. The application of such rapid assays for environmental contaminants helps to ensure animal and food safety from contamination with fire retardants, industrial chemicals, personal care products, pesticides and other materials. This now has been extended to biological (rift valley fever, ebola, blue tongue) threats. From a more basic standpoint we have continued to develop transduction technologies (predominantly lanthanide nanoparticles), new immunoassay amplification processes (phage amplification PHAIA) and radically new methods of making immunoassays (nanobodies) that are widely applicable from home pregnancy kits, to veterinary surveillance to research.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
CA-D-ENM-7654-H
Accession number
210216
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Chemical Contaminants