High-Sensitivity Cotinine Immunoassay from Salimetrics Helps to Advance Research on the Health Effects of Second-Hand Smoke.

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Research on the effects of secondhand smoke on human health requires sensitive measurements of cotinine, a principal metabolite of nicotine that is used to quantify exposure to tobacco products. A number of recent studies have used the high-sensitivity cotinine immunoassay kit from Salimetrics to advance knowledge in this field.

You’re not dealing with active smokers here, so you want a test that can reliably and consistently measure the small amounts of cotinine in these babies.

Current research is revealing that non-smoking children and adults who live with a smoker often have health problems that are related to the smoke in their home environment. A number of recent studies have used the Salimetrics Cotinine Immunoassay in their investigations of health problems related to second-hand smoke exposure, and several of these studies have explored links between second-hand smoke and the development of physical or mental health conditions in children. (1-3)

In order to document the level of exposure to smoke in the home environments, researchers often prefer to collect saliva samples in order to measure levels of cotinine, a principal metabolic product from the nicotine found in tobacco smoke. Levels of salivary cotinine from exposure to second-hand smoke are often very low (typically in the range of 1-5 ng/mL), requiring the use of a highly-sensitive assay method.

The majority of cotinine immunoassay products available on the market are designed for the qualitative discrimination of smokers from non-smokers, and these do not have the sensitivity or accuracy required to study cotinine levels in the range that usually results from second-hand smoke exposure. The Salimetrics Cotinine Immunoassay was therefore designed with a lower limit of sensitivity at 0.15 ng/mL, in order to fill this need.

“The Salimetrics testing team is actively involved in several ongoing projects studying the influence of second-hand smoke on babies and children with asthma,” states testing supervisor Carla Slike. “You’re not dealing with active smokers here, so you want a test that can reliably and consistently measure the small amounts of cotinine in these babies. We want these kids to have a healthy future and the techs feel great knowing our high sensitivity cotinine assays make that possible.”

The Salimetrics Cotinine assay is specifically designed to work with saliva samples, in comparison to immunoassays from other manufacturers that are designed for use with blood or urine samples. Saliva often contains substances that can cause interference in assays designed for these other testing fluids, leading to inaccurate results. The Salimetrics immunoassay is also cost effective when compared to alternative chromatographic assay methods, which is important for large health-related studies that screen for cotinine levels.

1.    Schuetze, et al. (2011). Physiological regulation in cigarette exposed infants: An examination of potential moderators. Neurotoxicol Teratol, 33, 567-574.
2.    Butz, et al. (2011). Factors associated with second-hand smoke exposure in young inner-city children with asthma. J Asthma, 48, 449-57.
3.    Halterman, et al. (2011). Randomized controlled trial to improve care for urban children with asthma. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 165, 262-68.

About Salimetrics

Founded in 1998, Salimetrics, LLC supports researchers, the immunodiagnostic industry, and functional testing laboratories around the world with innovative salivary immunoassay products and services. Salimetrics’ assay kits and CLIA-certified testing services measure biomarkers related to stress, behavior and development, inflammation, and immune function, including: alpha-amylase, androstenedione, blood contamination, chromogranin A, cortisol, cotinine, C-reactive protein, DHEA, DHEA-S, estradiol, estriol, estrone, IL-1b, IL-6, melatonin, progesterone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, secretory IgA, testosterone, and TNF-a. Salimetrics also provides salivary DNA analysis. The company is based in State College, Pennsylvania, with offices in the UK and distributors in Europe, Australasia, and South America. For more information, visit Salimetrics on the web at http://www.salimetrics.com.

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Chris Schwartz
Salimetrics
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