The publication of the results of the interlaboratory trial for the development of the new ISO standard 19040-2 for the A-YES® is currently under revision.
Endocrine-active substances can adversely impact the aquatic ecosystems. A special emphasis is laid, among others, on the effects of estrogens and estrogen mimicking compounds. Effect-based screening methods like in vitro bioassays are suitable tools to detect and quantify endocrine activities of known and unknown mixtures.
This study describes the validation of the Arxula-Yeast Estrogen Screen (A-YES®) assay, an effect-based method for the detection of the estrogenic potential of water and waste water. This reporter gene assay, provided in ready to use format, is based on the activation of the human estrogen receptor alpha. The user-friendly A-YES® enables inexperienced operators to rapidly become competent with the assay.
Fourteen laboratories from four countries with different training levels analyzed 17β-estradiol equivalent concentrations (EEQ) in spiked and unspiked waste water effluent and surface water samples, in waste water influent and spiked salt water samples and in a mixture of three bisphenols. The limit of detection (LOD) for untreated samples was 1.8 ng/L 17β-estradiol (E2). Relative repeatability and reproducibility standard deviation for samples with EEQ above the LOD (mean EEQ values between 6.3 and 20.4 ng/L) ranged from 7.5 to 21.4% and 16.6 to 28.0%, respectively. Precision results are comparable to other frequently used analytical methods for estrogens.
The A-YES® has been demonstrated to be an accurate, precise and robust bioassay. The results have been included in the ISO draft standard.
The assay was shown to be applicable for testing of typical waste water influent, effluent and saline water. Other studies have shown that the assay can be used with enriched samples, which lower the LOD to the pg/L range.
The validation of the A-YES® and the development of a corresponding international standard constitute a step further towards harmonized and reliable bioassays for the effect-based analysis of estrogens and estrogen-like compounds in water samples.