The detection at very low levels of small molecules such as pesticides, mycotoxins or phycotoxins, in environment and food is critical for consumers. These contaminants are typically measured using HPLC with fluorimetry or mass spectroscopy detection ; however, these methods are time-consuming, expensive and therefore not suited for throughput screening. Immunoassays are an attractive alternative for rapid, sensitive and highly specific screening of large samples numbers. Small molecules cannot act as immunogens, so the design and synthesis of the corresponding haptens and the hapten–protein conjugates is a crucial step for successful specific antibody generation when antibodies are not commercially available.
Amicoumacins are natural products with potent anti-ulcerogenic and anti-bacterial activities. The main structural differences between Amicoumacins are found on the tail-end of the hydroxylated side-chain.

PNG - 18.3 ko

We were interested in the simultaneous immunodetection of all Amicoumacin analogues in microbiological media. So, in order to address the recognition versus the common fragment-derived moiety and to improve the cross-reactivity pattern of the antibodies for the whole antibacterial Amicoumacin family, we designed the immunizing hapten–protein conjugates. The same methodology was applied to Glycitein or to Hesperetin and Naringenin, which belong to the flavonoids family. There has been considerable interest in the flavonoid content of foods since a link was established between a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. (Coll. : C. Bennetau-Pelissero, S. Poix ; ENITAB, Gradignan).
Immunoassays of flavours (or precursors of flavours), important for winemaking process, are currently in progress. Thus, preliminary results in identification and quantification of these important molecules with organoleptic properties have been already obtained.
Partners : ISM, Univ. Bordeaux ; ENITAB ; ISVV, Univ. Bordeaux, INRA.