A simple method for evaluating Cryptosporidium-specific antibodies used in monitoring environmental water samples

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A simple method is described for the evaluation and quality control of Cryptosporidium- specific antibodies used in monitoring environmental water samples. Purified oocysts were fluorescently labelled with a test antibody at the appropriate concentration. Labelled oocysts were analysed using flow cytometry and a region was defined on a bivariate dotplot of fluorescence versus light scatter that enclosed all oocysts. Concentrates of environmental water samples that did not contain oocysts were then incubated with the test antibody and analysed using flow cytometry. The number of particles that appeared in the region defined for oocysts was recorded and was a measure of non-specific binding. The technique provides a simple, rapid and quantitative tool for both evaluating the binding specificity of test antibodies and optimizing sample staining conditions.

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