Clinical biochemical and hormonal profiling in plasma: a promising strategy to predict growth hormone abuse in cattle
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Recombinant bovine somatotrophin (rbST) is widely used in some countries to increase milk production. Since 1994, both marketing and use of this substance have been prohibited within the European Union. In this context, the targeted plasma biochemical and hormonal profiling was assessed as a potential screening strategy to highlight rbST (ab)use in cattle. Twenty-one routinely measured clinical blood parameters, representative of main biological profiles (energetic, proteic, etc.), were measured in the plasma of six lactating cows before and after rbST treatment throughout a 23-day study period. Appropriate multivariate statistical analyses [principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least square (OPLS)] enabled discriminating animal samples before and after treatment (days 0 vs. 2 to 9, P = 2.10−9) and highlighted the five most relevant blood parameters in this discrimination. Based on each five-analyte contribution, a simple mathematically weighted equation was suggested to predict the status of samples. A suspicious threshold was proposed, and the model was further tested with the status prediction of the supplementary samples from untreated (n = 20) and treated cows (n = 22). The calculated false-positive (10 %) and false-negative (4.5 %) rates were in accordance with the EU requirements for screening methods. Although the model needs to be further validated with additional samples, such targeted plasma biochemical and hormonal profiling already appears as a potential promising screening strategy to highlight rbST (ab)use in cattle.
KeywordsBovine recombinant somatotrophin Blood parameters Screening method Biomarkers
Mickael Doué was a fellowship recipient of the French Region Pays de la Loire and the French Ministry of Agriculture (contract no. 2011-09551).
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