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Technical note: Evaluation of digital refractometers to estimate serum immunoglobulin G concentration and passive transfer in Jersey calves
- McCracken, M.M., Morrill, K.M., Fordyce, A.L., Tyler, H.D.
- Journal of dairy science 2017 v.100 no.10 pp. 8438-8442
- Holstein, Jersey, blood sampling, blood serum, brix, calves, immunoglobulin G, models, protein content, rapid methods, refractive index, Arizona
- Previous data have demonstrated that refractometers can be used to estimate serum IgG, and that a cut-point of 7.8% Brix should be used to identify failure of passive transfer (FPT) in 1-d-old Holstein calves. The objective of the present study was to validate the use of refractometry to estimate serum IgG concentrations and evaluate FPT in Jersey calves. Blood samples (n = 97) were obtained from 1- to 3-d-old Jersey calves and centrifuged at 3,300 × g for 20 min at 25°C. Serum was analyzed for % Brix, total protein (TP), and refractive index (nD) using a Sper Scientific Digital Refractometer (model #300036, Sper Scientific, Scottsdale, AZ) within 12 h of sampling. Samples were then frozen and later analyzed in the laboratory for IgG by radial immunodiffusion. The mean serum IgG concentration for all calves was 23.7 mg/mL (SD = 12.5), with a range of 2.3 to 65.5 mg/mL. Mean serum % Brix was 8.9 (SD = 1.1; range 6.5 to 12.0). Serum % Brix was moderately correlated with IgG concentration (r = 0.77). Total protein and IgG were moderately correlated (r = 0.790). Regression was used to determine cut-points for approximately 10, 12, and 14 mg of IgG/mL and to determine the sensitivity and specificity of refractometry to identify FPT (serum IgG <10 mg/mL at 24 h of life). Brix cut-points analyzed were 7.1, 7.3, and 7.6%; TP cut-points were 4.6, 5.0, and 5.5 g/dL; and nD cut-points were 1.34332, 1.34271, and 1.3448, respectively, for 10, 12, and 14 mg of IgG/mL. The 7.3% Brix and 4.6 g/dL TP cut-points resulted in the greatest percentage of samples being correctly classified. These data suggest that digital refractometry is an acceptable and rapid method to estimate immunoglobulin G in Jersey calf serum.