Detection of the Antimicrobial Triclosan in Environmental Samples by Immunoassay

Ki Chang Ahn, Anupama Ranganathan, Candace S. Bever, Sung Hee Hwang, Erika B. Holland, Kevin Morisseau, Isaac N Pessah, Bruce D. Hammock, Shirley J. Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A sensitive, competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of the antimicrobial triclosan (TCS; 2,4,4′-trichloro-2′-hydroxydiphenyl ether) was developed. Novel immunizing haptens were synthesized by derivatizing at the 4-Cl position of the TCS molecule. Compounds derived from substitutions at 4′-Cl and that replaced the 2′-OH with a Cl atom were designed as unique coating antigen haptens. Polyclonal rabbit antisera were screened against the coating antigen library to identify combinations of immunoreagents resulting in the most sensitive assays. The most sensitive assay identified was one utilizing antiserum no. 1155 and a heterologous competitive hapten, where the 2′-OH group was substituted with a Cl atom. An IC50 value and the detection range for TCS in assay buffer were 1.19 and 0.21-6.71 μg/L, respectively. The assay was selective for TCS, providing low cross-reactivity (<5%) to the major metabolites of TCS and to brominated diphenyl ether-47. A second assay utilizing a competitive hapten containing Br instead of Cl substitutions was broadly selective for both brominated and chlorinated diphenylethers. Using the most sensitive assay combination, we measured TCS concentrations in water samples following dilution. Biosolid samples were analyzed following the dilution of a simple solvent extract. The immunoassay results were similar to those determined by LC-MS/MS. This immunoassay can be used as a rapid and convenient tool to screen for human and environmental exposure. (Figure Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3754-3761
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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