Effect of storage on the nitro blue tetrazolium reduction test in dog blood samples

Marta Baxarias, Laia Solano Gallego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: The nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction test (NBTT) has been used for measuring the metabolic activity of phagocytes of mammals. Activated neutrophils transform NBT into formazan in the cytoplasm. The NBTT can detect the activation of neutrophils in peripheral blood and is used to assess neutrophil function in dogs. However, the NBTT is not used frequently in the clinical setting, as samples should be processed after blood collection. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of storage on NBTT in dog blood samples. Materials and Methods: Residual EDTA blood samples from 22 dogs were included of different ages, breeds, and sex. The buffy coat layer was separated from the blood and incubated with 0.1% NBT. The NBTT was performed at 0, 24, 48, and 72 h after the collection of blood. Blood samples were stored at 4°C until the tests were performed. Blood smears were evaluated by light microscopy, and the NBT reduction rate was reported, which represents the percentage of activated neutrophils. The NBT reduction rate was calculated after counting 300 neutrophils in each slide. Results: The means of NBTT in dog blood samples at 0, 24, 48, and 72 h were 8.3%, 8.5%, 8.7%, and 7.8%, respectively. No significant differences were observed between time points. Conclusions: This study showed that the NBTT can be performed up to 72 h after the collection of canine blood if correctly refrigerated at 4°C. This finding supports the performance of the NBTT in the clinical setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-600
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Activated neutrophils
  • Canine
  • Formazan
  • Metabolic measurement
  • NBT


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