Immunoquantitative measurement of soybean aeroallergen emissions at industrial sites

María Jesús Cruz, J. R. Villalbí, M. Swanson, J. M. Pintó, M. J. Rodrigo, F. Morell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Asthma attacks and mortality due to inhalation of soybean antigens in Barcelona, Spain have been well documented. A new control scheme was adopted in the city to avoid the emission and dispersion of soybean dust into the atmosphere during unloading. We studied soybean allergen emission during unloading and at 3 industrial sites and compared the results obtained. Methods: Over a period of 31 months, 628 paired air samples from 3 plants (A, B, C) involved in soybean manipulation in Barcelona harbor were collected. Samples were analyzed by a radiometric competitive inhibition assay (RCIA) and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A Bland-Altman plot was used to compare the soybean concentrations measured by each assay. Results: The median values for the 628 samples were 5535 U/m3 (range, 370-18 416 751) for the RCIA and 9955 U/m3 (range, 400-22 349 059) for the ELISA. Plant A had the lowest emission levels and the lowest Spearman rank correlation coefficient (0.409). The correlation coefficients were 0.747 and 0.794 for plants B and C. Soybean aeroallergen concentrations differed by plant. The highest variability in values was seen for plant A, which had the lowest allergen concentrations. Conclusions: The competitive assays described are useful tools for the measurement of soybean allergen emission levels at industrial sites. These methods may be used to monitor unloading and the impact of environmental interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-448
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 15 2008


  • Aeroallergen
  • Asthma
  • Competitive inhibition assay
  • Emission
  • Risk
  • Soybean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Cruz, M. J., Villalbí, J. R., Swanson, M., Pintó, J. M., Rodrigo, M. J., & Morell, F. (2008). Immunoquantitative measurement of soybean aeroallergen emissions at industrial sites. Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, 18(6), 443-448.