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ELISA Measurement of Stachylysin™ in Serum to Quantify Human Exposures to the Indoor Mold Stachybotrys chartarum

Van Emon, Jeanette M. PhD; Reed, Allan W. BS; Yike, Iwona PhD; Vesper, Stephen J. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 6 - pp 582-591

Learning Objectives:

* Recall the properties of stachylysin and the characteristics of the assays developed to quantify it.

* Identify the types of indoor environment that harbor Stachybotrys chartarum.

* Summarize the results of stachylysin assays in rats and humans exposed to S. chartarum.

The goal of this research was to develop a measurable indicator of human exposure to Stachyborys chartarum. Antibodies were produced against the hemolytic agent stachylysin obtained from the mold S. chartarum. These antibodies were used to develop two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods for the analysis of stachylysin in human and rat sera and environmental samples. Stachylysin was measured in rat pups that received nasal instillations of S. chartarum conidia but not in control rat serum. Stachylysin in the serum of five human adults exposed to S. chartarum in water-damaged environments was 371 ng/mL but none was detected in the control serum. Stachylysin was also quantified in spore, wallboard, mycelial, and dust samples. The measurement of stachylysin may be a useful indicator in assessing human exposure to S. chartarum and in determining the presence of this indoor mold.

From the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL), Las Vegas, Nevada (Dr Van Emon, Mr Reed); NAHE, Las Vegas, Nevada (Mr Reed); Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr. Yike); and U.S. EPA, NERL, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Vesper).

Address correspondence to: Dr Stephen Vesper, US EPA, 26 W. M. King Drive, M. L. 314, Cincinnati, Ohio; e-mail:

Coauthor Iwana Yike has patents received or pending related to the subject matter discussed in this article.

Steven Vesper has no commercial interest related to this article.

This article was written by an officer or employee of the U.S. Government as part of his/her official duties and is therefore not subject to U.S. copyright.

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine