Recognition of pollen and other particulate aeroantigens by immunoblot microscopy

Michael J. Schumacher, Richard D. Griffith, Mary Kay O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Most grass-pollen types appear identical by normal light microscopy. Restricted antigenic cross-reactivity of Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass) pollen allowed development of a new method to identify antigens associated with grass-pollen grains. Pollen applied to the surface of an adhesive tape was blotted onto nitrocellulose, and the blots were identified by anti-Bermuda-grass antibodies, second antibody, and fluorescence microscopy. Of the 44 species of grass pollen studied for specificity of the method, the only species to demonstrate uniformly bright staining were Cynodon dactylon, Elymus triticoides, Elymus cinereus, and Koeleria cristata. Thirty-one species were negative, and nine other species demonstrated occasional brightly fluorescent spots, suggesting contamination. The immunoblotting method was used to study Tucson air collected continuously by a Burkard pollen and spore trap throughout April 1986. Each 2-hour transect of the adhesive tape from the trap was examined by immunoblotting and by normal light microscopy to compare antigen particle counts with grass-pollen counts. The mean antigen-particle concentration, 52.8/m3 of air, was higher than the mean grass-pollen concentration, 21.9/m3 of air, suggesting presence of amorphous Bermuda-grass antigens in air samples. Antigen-particle concentration, not grass-pollen concentration, correlated significantly with wind velocity, temperature, and time of day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-616
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Recognition of pollen and other particulate aeroantigens by immunoblot microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this