Hair cortisol detection in dairy cattle by using EIA: Protocol validation and correlation with faecal cortisol metabolites

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Abstract

© 2015 The Animal Consortium. Hair may be a useful matrix to detect cumulative cortisol concentrations in studies of animal welfare and chronic stress. The aim of this study was to validate a protocol for cortisol detection in hair from dairy cattle by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Seventeen adult Holstein-Friesian dairy cows were used during the milking period. Hair cortisol concentration was assessed in 25-day-old hair samples taken from the frontal region of the head, analysing black and white coloured hair separately. Concentrations of cortisol metabolites were determined in faeces collected twice a week during the same period of time. There was a high correlation between cortisol values in faeces and cortisol in white colour hair samples but such correlation was not significant with the black colour hair samples. The intra-and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 4.9% and 10.6%, respectively. The linearity showed R 2=0.98 and mean percentage error of-10.8±1.55%. The extraction efficiency was 89.0±23.52% and the parallelism test showed similar slopes. Cortisol detection in hair by using EIA seems to be a valid method to represent long-term circulating cortisol levels in dairy cattle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1064
JournalAnimal
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • EIA
  • animal welfare
  • cortisol
  • dairy cattle
  • hair

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