, Volume 379, Issue 1, pp 156-162
Date: 24 Mar 2004

Modification of the Limulus amebocyte lysate assay for the analysis of glucan in indoor environments

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β-1,3-d -Glucan is a biologically active component mainly from fungi that has been shown in several studies to be related to respiratory health outcomes from damp building exposures. Here, we report the development and application of a method for the analysis of the glucan extracted in 0.5 N NaOH solution making use of an available preparation of Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL). The method yields reproducible β-1,3-d -glucan measurements from samples of outdoor air, yeast cells, fungal spore preparations and ragweed pollen, and is more sensitive than competing measurements. The LAL-based measurement compared favourably to that based on size-exclusion chromatography using UV and refractive index detection. Growth conditions of the fungi did not materially change the concentrations of glucan in spores indicating that this is a stable property. Glucan content was proportional to spore surface area; however, some species contain higher relative spore glucan contents.