A very selective polyclonal antiserum against 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2- bis-(4-chlorophenyl)-ethane (p,p'-DDT) was obtained by a careful choice of the haptenic structure (2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethanol hemisuccinate). This hapten was conjugated to BSA to prepare the immunogen. The effects of different types of solid phases on the equilibrium reaction between the hapten on solid phase and the polyclonal antiserum were evaluated to obtain a fine tuning of the antiserum performances in terms of specificity for p,p'-DDT and sensitivity to low levels of this pesticide. The calibration curves obtained show that it is possible to set up a sensitive assay for p,p'-DDT, employing a p,p'-dichlorodiphenylacetic acid- based solid phase, with a detection limit of 0.12 ng/mL and a working range of about 0.21–40 ng/mL. Selectivity towards several p,p'-DDT-related substances was good (o,p-DDT 17%, p,p'-DDD 1.2% o,p-DDD 6.3%, p,p¢-DDE 6.7%)
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