Plasma agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) is recognized as a very reliable diagnostic tool in avian medicine. Within the last 10 years, new electrophoresis techniques such as capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) have emerged in human laboratory medicine but have never been investigated in birds. To investigate the use of CZE in birds and to compare it with AGE, plasma samples from 30 roosters (Gallus gallus), 20 black kites (Milvus migrans), and 10 racing pigeons (Columba livia) were analyzed by both AGE and CZE. For the 3 species studied, values determined by AGE and CZE were well correlated for albumin and beta and gamma fractions whereas other values differed significantly. Values for alpha-3 fraction in the rooster, alpha-1 fraction in the black kite, and alpha fractions in the pigeon obtained by AGE were very well correlated with the prealbumin fraction values obtained by CZE. Repeatability and reproducibility appeared higher with CZE than with AGE. Although the interpretation of CZE electrophoresis patterns seems to produce results similar to those obtained with AGE, some proteins present in the alpha fraction measured with AGE migrated to the prealbumin fraction found with CZE. Although CZE requires the use of specific reference intervals and a much higher sample volume, this method has many advantages when compared with AGE, including better repeatability and reproducibility and higher analysis output.
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