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Detection of hereditary bisalbuminemia in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu 1821): comparison between capillary zone and agarose gel electrophoresis

Gili, Claudia, Bonsembiante, Federico, Bonanni, Renzo, Giordano, Alessia, Ledda, Sabina, Beffagna, Giorgia, Paltrinieri, Saverio, Sommer, Matteo, Gelain, Maria Elena
BMC veterinary research 2016 v.12 no.1 pp. 172
Tursiops truncatus, agarose, blood serum, capillary zone electrophoresis, data collection, dolphins, gel electrophoresis, genes, human serum albumin, humans, medicine, point mutation, siblings, sires
BACKGROUND: Hereditary bisalbuminemia is a relatively rare anomaly characterized by the occurrence of two albumin fractions on serum protein separation by electrophoresis. In human medicine, it is usually revealed by chance, is not been clearly associated with a specific disease and the causative genetic alteration is a point mutation of human serum albumin gene inherited in an autosomal codominant pattern. This type of alteration is well recognizable by capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE), whilst agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) not always produces a clear separation of albumin fractions. The aims of this study is to report the presence of this abnormality in two separate groups of related bottlenose dolphins and to compare the results obtained with capillary zone and agarose gel electrophoresis. RESULTS: Serum samples from 40 bottlenose dolphins kept under human care were analyzed. In 9 samples a double albumin peak was evident in CZE electrophoresis while no double peak was noted in AGE profile. Since only an apparently wider albumin peaks were noted in some AGE electrophoretic profiles, the ratio between base and height (b/h) of the albumin peak was calculated and each point-value recorded in the whole set of data was used to calculate a receiver operating characteristic curve: when the b/h ratio of albumin peak was equal or higher than 0.25, the sensitivity and specificity of AGE to detect bisalbuminemic samples were 87 and 63 %, respectively. The bisalbuminemic dolphins belong to two distinct families: in the first family, all the siblings derived from the same normal sire were bisalbuminemic, whereas in the second family bisalbuminemia was present in a sire and in two out of three siblings. CONCLUSIONS: We report for the first time the presence of hereditary bisalbuminemia in two groups of related bottlenose dolphins identified by means of CZE and we confirm that AGE could fail in the identification of this alteration.