Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 54, Issue 3–4, pp 285–298 | Cite as

A Comparative Methodical Study of the Faecal Steroid Analysis on Birds: Looking for A Valid Method of Testosterone Determination

  • K. KelemenEmail author
  • P. Péczely
  • Zs. Szőke
  • V. Ladjánszky


In a comparative study, a relatively simple and high sensitivity method was developed for analysis of testosterone-equivalent(s) in the faeces of different bird species. To determine the recovery of extractions and purifications, tritium-labelled testosterone was added to the wet samples. Then the samples were treated with sodium dodecil sulphate (SDS), an emulsificator to “open-up” the complex, lipid-coated particles of faecal samples. This emulsification resulted in the decrease of the quantity of interfering substances after diethyl-ether extraction and the linearity of the measured testosterone equivalents from aliquots in the range of 2 and 10 mg of faeces. In the RIA, we applied a group specific polyclonal testosterone antibody which cross-reacted with reduced metabolites and at a certain level with sulphate conjugates as well. The use of Helix enzymes did not modified significantly the results of the analysis relating to a low level of conjugated androgens in the faecal extracts. The biological validity of the method was tested on domestic cockerels, where between the plasma and faecal testosterone values a four hours phase shift was observed, with a correlation of 0.6355. This method is suitable for “non invasive”, behavioural-ethological studies.


Steroids testosterone faeces birds methods biochemistry 


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This work was supported by a grant from OTKA, No. T030769. We are grateful to Mrs Katalin Bara for her excellent technical assistance and to Mr. Szilamér Ferenczi for his consultative assistance.


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2003

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Kelemen
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Péczely
    • 1
  • Zs. Szőke
    • 1
  • V. Ladjánszky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Reproductive BiologySzt. István UniversityGödöllőHungary

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