A new type of non-isotopic immunoassay, applied to the determination of serum gentamicin, is reported. The method is based on partial quenching of fluorescence observed when fluorescein-labelled gentamicin is bound by anti-gentamicin serum. The fluorescence intensity of the labelled gentamicin in an unseparated immunoassay incubation mixture therefore serves to indicate the extent of binding, which is related to the amount of competing unlabelled gentamicin present. Precision and accuracy are shown to be similar to those of the best existing methods for gentamicin, while the new assay is more rapid and technically simpler, and avoids the use of expensive radio-chemicals with their attendant health hazard. Assays of patient samples correlate with established bioassay and polarisation fluoroimmunoassay methods.
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