Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 20, pp 5255–5265 | Cite as

Novel hapten design, antibody recognition mechanism study, and a highly sensitive immunoassay for diethylstilbestrol in shrimp

  • Jiafei Mi
  • Xiaoyun Dong
  • Xiya Zhang
  • Chenglong Li
  • Jianyi Wang
  • Mari Ghulam Mujtaba
  • Suxia Zhang
  • Kai Wen
  • Xuezhi YuEmail author
  • Zhanhui Wang
Research Paper


Over the past few years, there has been a lack of progress in the quality of diethylstilbestrol (DES) antibodies used in immunoassay. In this study, a new immunizing hapten was designed for remarkably sensitive and specific antibody generation against diethylstilbestrol. By introducing a benzene ring instead of the traditional linear chain alkane as the hapten spacer, a more specific immune reaction was induced in the process of immunization. The developed polyclonal antibodies were characterized using the indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (icELISA). Under optimized conditions, the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of the best polyclonal antibody was 0.14 ng/mL and it displayed low cross-reactions (CRs) with the structural analogs such as hexestrol (HEX) and dienestrol (DI). The molecular modeling and quantum chemical computation revealed that the lowest CR of the DES antibody to DI was mainly due to the huge three-dimensional conformational difference between DES and DI. Finally, a highly sensitive icELISA method based on the polyclonal antibody was developed for the determination of DES in shrimp tissue. The limit of detection (LOD) was as low as 0.2 μg/kg in shrimp and the recoveries in the spiked samples ranged from 83.4 to 90.8% with the coefficient of variation less than 13.8%. These results indicated that the use of an aromatic ring as the immunizing hapten spacer arm could be a potential strategy for the enhancement of anti-DES antibody sensitivity, and the established icELISA was applicable to the trace detection of DES in shrimp.

Graphical abstract


Diethylstilbestrol Novel hapten Antibody recognition Immunoassay 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1602900) and China Agriculture Research System (CARS-36).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving rabbits and shrimps were in accordance with the relevant Chinese laws and according to the China Agriculture University regulations concerning protection of animals used for scientific purposes (2010-SYXK-0037). The animals used in this study were approved by the Ethics Committee on Experimental Animals and Animal Tests of China Agricultural University. The review number was AW01067102-2.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiafei Mi
    • 1
  • Xiaoyun Dong
    • 1
  • Xiya Zhang
    • 2
  • Chenglong Li
    • 1
  • Jianyi Wang
    • 1
  • Mari Ghulam Mujtaba
    • 1
  • Suxia Zhang
    • 1
  • Kai Wen
    • 1
  • Xuezhi Yu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhanhui Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Beijing Laboratory for Food Quality and Safety, Beijing Key Laboratory of Detection Technology for Animal-Derived Food Safety, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, College of Veterinary MedicineChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Henan Province Engineering Research Center for Food Safety Control of Processing and Circulation, College of Food Science and TechnologyHenan Agricultural UniversityZhengzhouChina

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