Laboratory animal allergy. Development of RAST inhibition assay to monitor airborne allergen levels.
An assay was developed to monitor airborne levels of allergens in the workplace. The radioallergosorbent (RAST) assay developed used sera from workers containing high levels of immunoglobulin-E (IgE) antibodies to rat allergens to detect the allergens in extracts of dust samples. Development of the RAST inhibition assay involved screening serum samples from exposed workers to identify subjects with high IgE titers to the rat allergens, using a pool of those sera to develop optimal conditions for the RAST inhibition assay, using the RAST inhibition assay to evaluate sample collection and extraction procedures, and finally field testing the assay using airborne dust samples collected at a work facility. The assay was sensitive enough to detect allergens on filters from personal samplers, but the high volume area samplers worked better in that all samples collected had detectable allergen levels and that the ratio of total allergen level to total dust level was more consistent. These results confirmed that the assay could be reliably used for analysis of airborne allergen levels in the workplace.
NIOSH-Author; Air-quality-monitoring; Laboratory-workers; Medical-research; Laboratory-animals; Allergic-reactions; Airborne-dusts
Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia