ELISA method for monitoring human serum IgE specific for Cry1Ab introduced into genetically modified corn

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Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is the most convenient method of monitoring the occurrence of IgE antibodies specific for novel proteins in genetically modified (GM) foods. The levels of IgE specific for a recombinant protein, Cry1Ab, were determined using an ELISA method. A soluble form of the Cry1Ab protein purified from pCold1 vector-transformed Escherichia coli pTf16/BL21 was used as the ELISA coating antigen, and 1 M NaCl was used as the washing buffer to remove IgE non-specifically bound to the coated antigen. Sera from 44 patients allergic to major food allergens were obtained, diluted 20-fold, tested, and found no identifiable IgE above background levels. We also tested sera from patients with corn allergy against whole extracts of non-GM and GM-corn (MON 810) using immunoblotting. The staining patterns were similar for the two types of corn. These results indicate that significant levels of IgE antibodies specific to Cry1Ab were not found in the sera of Japanese patients with food allergies.

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