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Imidacloprid is one of the main neonicotinoid insecticides widely used in agriculture owing its broad spectrum of activity and low bioaccumulation. However, imidacloprid is toxic to honey bees and other beneficial organisms, and its residues may occur in environmental and food samples, posing a potential hazard to consumers. In this study the imidacloprid derivative bearing a three-atom length spacer was synthesized and coupled to carrier proteins. Highly sensitive and specific polyclonal antibodies against imidacloprid were successfully produced and the polyclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (pAb-ELISA) was developed.
The ELISA standard curve was constructed within the concentration range 0.1-100 ng mL(-1) . The IC(50) value for nine standard curves was in the range 1.2-3.0 ng mL(-1) and the limit of detection was 0.03-0.16 ng mL(-1) . The sensitivity of the assay was one order of magnitude higher than that in most published papers. There was almost no cross-reactivity of the antibody with four structurally related compounds (acetamiprid, nicotine, clothianidin and nitenpyram) and six other compounds, indicating that the assay displays not only high sensitivity but also high specificity. No detectable imidacloprid was found in 11 collected environmental and food samples by the assay. For imidacloprid-spiked samples, acceptable recoveries of 73.4-94.4% and intra-assay coefficients of variation of 2.2-12.8% were obtained. The assay was also validated with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and a good correlation of ELISA with HPLC was achieved.
The proposed ELISA provides a sensitive, specific, simple and cost-effective quantitative/screening method for detecting imidacloprid in environmental and food samples. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.
College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of the science of food and agriculture
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