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12 January 2021 EVALUATION OF A VISUAL ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAY (ELISA) FOR PREGNANCY DETECTION IN FOUR UNGULATE SPECIES
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Abstract

This study evaluated the use of a commercially available, visual enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for diagnosis of pregnancy in okapi (Okapia johnstoni), gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), eastern giant eland (Tragelaphus derbianus spp. gigas), and dama gazelle (Nanger dama). This assay has been validated for use in domestic cattle, sheep, goats, and water buffalo. Unlike other blood-based pregnancy associated glycoprotein (PAG) detection methods, this assay does not require sophisticated laboratory equipment for detection or interpretation and can therefore be utilized in many settings. Banked serum samples from gerenuk (n = 11), giant eland (n = 4), dama gazelle (n = 33) and okapi (n = 3) were tested, and a pregnant and nonpregnant sample from each individual were included. The ELISA showed 100% sensitivity and specificity in gerenuk and giant eland samples, and 0% sensitivity in dama gazelle and okapi samples. Using this assay, pregnancy was detected by 7–8 wk gestation in gerenuk and 6 wk in giant eland. These results are consistent with previous studies that were able to accurately detect pregnancy in other members of the family Bovidae, but it is possible that PAGs present in okapi and dama gazelle are structurally dissimilar relative to the intended test target, and are therefore unrecognizable using this test. The faint positivity in the dama gazelle assays may be due to cross-reactivity with other proteins in the sample, or due to inconsistent binding with the dama gazelle PAG. This ELISA appears to be an accurate, rapid, and inexpensive method of point-of-care pregnancy diagnosis in gerenuk and giant eland, but not okapi and dama gazelle. Additional studies should be pursued to further characterize the limits of pregnancy detection using this assay in gerenuk and giant eland, and to investigate the validity of this test in other nondomestic ruminant species.

Copyright 2020 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Zachary T. Dvornicky-Raymond, Kyle A. Donnelly, Jessica A. Emerson, Linda M. Penfold, and Scott B. Citino "EVALUATION OF A VISUAL ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAY (ELISA) FOR PREGNANCY DETECTION IN FOUR UNGULATE SPECIES," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 51(4), 926-932, (12 January 2021). https://doi.org/10.1638/2020-0106
Accepted: 6 September 2020; Published: 12 January 2021
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