Specific antibodies directed against Ptychodiscus brevis 'brevetoxins' have been produced in a goat. The haptenic toxin T34 was chemically reduced to toxin T17, covalently-linked to succinic acid via anhydride coupling, and coupled to bovine serum albumin using standard carbodiimide condensation procedures. The hapten coupling efficiency ranged from 10.4 to 13.5 moles of toxin bound per mole of protein. Antibody titers were directly related to the frequency of immunization, and weekly intervals appeared optimum for maintaining adequate titers. [3H]Brevetoxin T17 is displaced in a competitive manner from the antibody - antigen complexes by unlabeled toxin, but the antibodies do not distinguish between T17 and T34. The sensitivity achieved, using purified brevetoxins as competitive inhibitors of [3H]T17 binding, was 600 picograms. The assay linearity ranged from 1.5 to 48 ng.
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