The exponential increase of Cimex lectularius(common bed bug ) infestations in households, schools and businesses has resulted in major problems for home owners and the hospitality industry. The development of immunoassays to identify the presence and extent of the infestation has been made possible by the production of monoclonal antibodies to two major proteins.
Proteomics of whole bed bug lysates using a transcriptome compiled database identified 2 novel proteins of interest which have not been previously characterised. Monoclonal antibodies were raised and screened for cross reactivity and specificity to bed bugs and a range of household insects. A number of antibody based detection assays have been developed.
225 bed bug proteins were identified via proteomic analysis, two novel bed bug proteins were selected for development into antibody based detection assays. The first, bed bug protein 1 (BBP1) is derived from the exoskeleton and is evident in all stages of the bed bug life cycle while the second is exclusively found in the egg shell (Egg shell protein). The monoclonal antibodies raised against both proteins exhibit high sensitivity and have a LOD of one bed bug and one egg.
Novel bed bug proteins have been identified and used to develop antibody based detection assays. These assays identify different life stages allowing a broad approach to both bed bug detection and the monitoring of eradiation methodologies.