Factors influencing the quality of Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper) ant venom for use in in vitro and in vivo diagnosis of allergen sensitization and in allergen immunotherapy
Wanandy, ST and Dwyer, HE and McLean, Lee and Davies, NW and Nichols, DS and Gueven, N and Brown, SG and Wiese, MD, Factors influencing the quality of Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper) ant venom for use in in vitro and in vivo diagnosis of allergen sensitization and in allergen immunotherapy, Clinical & Experimental Allergy ISSN 1365-2222 (In Press) [Refereed Article]
Background Allergen immunotherapy uses pharmaceutical preparations derived from naturally occurring source materials, which contain water-soluble allergenic components responsible for allergic reactions. The success of in vivo and in vitro diagnosis in allergen sensitization and allergen immunotherapy largely depends on the quality, composition and uniformity of allergenic materials used to produce the active ingredients, and the formulation employed to prepare finished products.
Objectives We aimed to examine the factors influencing batch-to-batch consistency of Jack Jumper (Myrmecia pilosula) ant venom (JJAV) in the form of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (AI) and informed whether factors such as temperature, artificial light and container materials influence the quality of JJAV AIs. We also aimed to establish handling and storage requirements of JJAV AIs to ensure preservation of allergenic activities during usage in the diagnosis of allergen sensitization and in allergen immunotherapy.
Methods The quality and consistency of JJAV AIs were analysed using a combination of bicinchoninic acid assay for total protein quantification, HPLC-UV for JJAV allergen peptides quantification, ELISA Inhibition for total allergenic potency, SDS-PAGE, AU-PAGE and Immunoblot for qualitative assessment of JJAV components, and Limulus Amebocyte Lysate assay for the quantification of endotoxin concentration. API-ZYM and Zymogram assays were used to probe the presence of enzymatic activities in JJAV.
Results Pharmaceutical grade JJAV for allergen immunotherapy has good batch-to-batch consistency. Temporary storage at 4oC and light exposure does not affect the quality of JJAV. Exposure to temperature above 40oC degrades high MW allergens in JJAV. Vials containing JJAV must be stored frozen and in upright position during long-term storage.
Conclusions and Clinical relevance We have identified factors which can influence the quality and consistency of JJAV AIs and provided a framework for appropriate handling,