Assessment of a commercially available serum pregnancy-specific protein B test in free-ranging elk (Cervus canadensis) in Pennsylvania, USA

Julia Silva Seixas, Bhushan M. Jayarao, Jeremiah E. Banfield, Joshua B. Johnson, Justin D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Uterine examinations provide an inexpensive and reliable postmortem alternative to monitor pregnancy rates in free-ranging elk (Cervus canadensis). However, this technique may be insensitive during early pregnancies (i.e., <20 d postconception), relies on proper collection of tissues, and may not be comparable to antemortem approaches used throughout the rest of the year. To circumvent some of these issues, the sensitivity and specificity of a commercially available serum pregnancy-specific protein B (PSPB) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was determined relative to uterine examination. From 2013 to 2017, paired serum samples and uteri were collected from 245 harvested free-ranging cow elk in Pennsylvania, US in November. Uteri were examined to determine whether the cow was pregnant, and, if so, gestation age was estimated based on embryo crown-rump (CR) length. The serum PSPB ELISA testing was then performed. Since harvested elk could not be retested, samples with optical densities close to the threshold for pregnancy determination (i.e., high-recheck sam-ples) were considered as both not pregnant and pregnant, and analyses were performed separately under each scenario. Overall, the PSPB ELISA had a sensitivity of 95% (high-recheck considered pregnant) and 93% (high-recheck considered not pregnant), and a specificity of 91% (high-recheck considered pregnant) and 93% (high-recheck considered not pregnant) relative to uterine examinations. Based on CR length, gestation age was <14 to 55 d. Our results indicated the PSPB ELISA was an accurate serum-based pregnancy test for elk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-916
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of wildlife diseases
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

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Cervus elaphus canadensis
elks
pregnancy
serum
protein
proteins
testing
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
assay
enzyme
rump
uterus
test
cows
pregnancy rate
absorbance
embryo (animal)
embryo
sampling

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Seixas, Julia Silva ; Jayarao, Bhushan M. ; Banfield, Jeremiah E. ; Johnson, Joshua B. ; Brown, Justin D. / Assessment of a commercially available serum pregnancy-specific protein B test in free-ranging elk (Cervus canadensis) in Pennsylvania, USA. In: Journal of wildlife diseases. 2019 ; Vol. 55, No. 4. pp. 912-916.
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Assessment of a commercially available serum pregnancy-specific protein B test in free-ranging elk (Cervus canadensis) in Pennsylvania, USA. / Seixas, Julia Silva; Jayarao, Bhushan M.; Banfield, Jeremiah E.; Johnson, Joshua B.; Brown, Justin D.

In: Journal of wildlife diseases, Vol. 55, No. 4, 10.2019, p. 912-916.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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