Comparison of Two Analytical Methods for Detecting (1-3)-β-D-Glucan in Pure Fungal Cultures and in Home Dust Samples

Y. Iossifova1, T. Reponen*, 1, M. Daines2, Linda Levin1, G.K. Khurana Hershey2
1 Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
2 Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, USA

© 2008 Iossifova et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; E-mail:


There are two methods available for the analysis of (1-3)-β-D-glucan: the Limulus Amebocyte Lysate assay (LAL) and the inhibition Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA). The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy and specificity of these two methods in detecting eight alpha and beta-glucan standards, and their sensitivity for the analysis of (1-3)-β- D-glucan content of common indoor fungal species and indoor dust samples. The results show that the LAL assay is more accurate, specific, and sensitive in measuring linear and branched β-D-glucans than the EIA. The greatest LAL-analyzed (1-3)-β-D-glucan content per spore (241 pg/spore) was found with E. nigrum, which also had the largest spore size (28 μm). The biomass-normalized (1-3)-β-D-glucan content of fungal spores from pure cultures was within similar range with the two assays but no correlation was found between the results from the two assays. In contrast, there was a significant correlation between the EIA and LAL-measured (1-3)-β-D-glucan concentrations (μg/m2 of floor area) in field dust samples.

Keywords: (1-3)-β-D-glucan, fungi, indoor, LAL, EIA.