Abstract: Serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) has been recognized as an important tool in human and veterinary medicine. The present study investigated the use of SPEP in serum samples from healthy Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Fraction delimitation was defined for the standardization of use by other laboratories. The imprecision of this method was comparable to reports in other species. A significant difference between albumin levels determined by SPEP and the traditional chemistry analyzer method (bromcresol green [BCG]) was observed (BCG = 3.38 ± 0.46 g/dL, and SPEP = 3.74 ± 0.43 g/dL, p < 0.0001). Bland-Altman analysis also showed that these two methods were not identical. Notably, several differences were observed between SPEP-derived values using samples from dolphins under human care vs free-ranging dolphins. The total protein was significantly increased in serum from free-ranging dolphins, and the A/G ratio was found to be significantly decreased (under human care: 1.91 ± 0.39 g/dL, free ranging: 1.07 ± 0.39 g/dL, p ≤ 0.05). The latter change was related to a significantly lower albumin fraction and 2.3-fold increase in gamma globulins. In total, this study provides method standardization and preliminary data toward the generation of reference intervals for this species.

Key Words: serum protein electrophoresis, albumin, bromcresol green, bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.38.4.2012.412

Page Numbers: 412-417

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