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Abstract: Serum protein electrophoresis is commonly used in veterinary medicine to obtain a broad picture of acute phase and humoral immune responses. Agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) has been the most prevalent platform in laboratory settings; however, in human medicine, this method is becoming increasingly supplanted by capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE). CZE has been demonstrated to have superior accuracy in fraction quantitation as well as consistently resolved protein fractions that are generally not observed by AGE. The objectives of the current study were to compare these two methods using serum from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and to generate preliminary reference intervals for this species. The methods were compared using Spearman’s correlation, Passing–Bablok regression, and Bland Altman analysis. A varying but significant correlation was observed between the methods for all protein fractions and the albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio except for the beta globulin fraction. Comparable or better imprecision in fraction quantitation was observed for CZE. Constant and proportional error was detected for both alpha globulin fractions. Of note, CZE allowed for an easier definition of the beta globulin fraction into two fractions (beta 1 and beta 2 globulins), and other subfractions were also visible. In total, these statistical and visible differences indicate that the two methods are not equivalent which necessitates the generation of method-specific reference intervals. Additionally, as it becomes more widely available, CZE should be considered as the preferred method for electrophoresis in this species.
Key Words: agarose gel electrophoresis, capillary zone electrophoresis, bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, reference intervals
Page Numbers: 146-152