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Your Environment. Your Health.

ELISA Assay Proficiency

In collaboration with other labs around the country, we completed a study that examined issues related to quality control in the laboratory measurements of allergens.


The specific objectives were to:

  • characterize the levels of intra- and inter-laboratory variability in ELISA analyses of allergen concentrations in residential dust
  • study the variation contributed by sample extraction by analyzing pre-extracted dust samples
  • examine the utility of quality control samples for monitoring laboratory performance


Aliquots from homogeneous batches of dust and dust extracts were provided to eight laboratories to be analyzed for up to six allergens using monoclonal ELISA techniques. Each laboratory was asked to use its own standard operating procedures. The results from this study indicated that, in most cases, laboratories could measure the concentrations of allergens using monoclonal ELISA procedures with acceptable accuracy and precision. Variability between laboratories was generally found to be greater than within-laboratory variability. The variability associated with the analysis of dust extracts was similar to that for the unextracted dust for most allergens. The results support the need for the development and use of standardized dust samples by laboratories conducting monoclonal ELISA analyses for common residential allergens. The findings further suggested that the development of standard operating procedures for sample preparation and the performance of assays could reduce variability among laboratories using the same reagents.


See Related Publications for further information about this study.

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