A lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) has been developed and fully validated to detect the primary amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) toxin, domoic acid (DA). The performance characteristics of two versions of the test were investigated using spiked and naturally contaminated shellfish (mussels, scallops, oysters, clams, and cockles). The tests provide a qualitative result, to indicate the absence or presence of DA in extracts of shellfish tissues, at concentrations that are relevant to regulatory limits. The new rapid assay (LFIA version 2) was designed to overcome the performance limitations identified in the first version of the assay. The improved test uses an electronic reader to remove the subjective nature of the generated results, and the positive cut-off for screening of DA in shellfish was increased from 10 ppm (version 1) to 17.5 ppm (version 2). A simple extraction and test procedure was employed, which required minimal equipment and materials; results were available 15 min after sample preparation. Stability of the aqueous extracts at room temperature (22 C) at four time points (up to 245 min after extraction) and across a range of DA concentrations was 100.3±1.3% and 98.8±2.4% for pre- and post-buffered extracts, respectively. The assay can be used both within laboratory settings and in remote locations. The accuracy of the new assay, to indicate negative results at or below 10 ppm DA, and positive results at or above 17.5 ppm, was 99.5% (n=216 tests). Validation data were obtained from a 2-day, randomised, blind study consisting of multiple LFIA lots (n=3), readers (n=3) and operators (n=3), carrying out multiple extractions of mussel tissue (n=3) at each concentration (0, 10, 17.5, and 20 ppm). No matrix effects were observed on the performance of the assay with different species (mussels, scallops, oysters, clams, and cockles). There was no impact on accuracy or interference from other phycotoxins, glutamic acid or glutamine with various strip incubations (8, 10, and 12 min). The accuracy of the assay, using naturally contaminated samples to indicate negative results at or below 12.5 ppm and positive results at or above 17.5 ppm, was 100%. Variability between three LFIA lots across a range of DA concentrations, expressed as coefficient of variation (% CV), was 1.1±0.4% (n=2 days) based on quantitative readings from the electronic reader. During an 8 week stability study, accuracy of the method with test strips stored at various temperatures (6, 22, 37 and 50 C) was 100%. Validation for both versions included comparisons with results obtained using reference LC-UV methods.
Jawaid, W., Meneely, J., Campbell, K., Hooper, M., Melville, K., Holmes, S., Rice, J., & Elliott, C. (2013). Development and validation of the first high performance-lateral flow immunoassay (HP-LFIA) for the rapid screening of domoic acid from shellfish extracts. Talanta, 116, 663-669. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2013.07.027