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Sutter, F.; Rauch, E.; Erhard, M.; Sargent, R.; Weber, C.; Heuwieser, W. and Borchardt, S. (2020): Evaluation of different analytical methods to assess failure of passive transfer in neonatal calves. In: Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 103, No. 6: pp. 5387-5397

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The objective of this study was to evaluate different analytical methods of assessing failure of passive transfer (FPT) in neonatal calves. We hypothesized that 3 different media (i.e., centrifuged serum, centrifuged plasma, filtered plasma) and different analytical methods [i.e., ELISA, capillary electrophoresis (CE), Brix refractometer, and handheld optical refractometer] would be highly correlated with the gold standard radial immunodiffusion (RID) and would generate comparable results. Serum and plasma blood samples were collected from Holstein Friesian calves (n = 216) aged 1 to 7 d, from 2 commercial dairy herds in northeast Germany. The RID analysis showed that 59 of 216 calves (27%) had serum IgG concentrations of <10 mg/mL and 157 calves (73%) had serum concentrations of >10 mg/mL. The mean IgG concentration (+/- standard deviation) was 17.1 +/- 9.8 mg/mL, and the range was 0.8 to 47.8 mg/mL. In serum, the correlation between RID and CE was r = 0.97, and between RID and ELISA was r = 0.90;CE and ELISA were also highly correlated (r = 0.89). Both refractometry methods were highly correlated with RID using centrifuged serum, centrifuged plasma, or filtered plasma (Brix refractometer: r = 0.84, 0.80, and 0.78, respectively;handheld optical refractometer: r = 0.83, 0.81, and 0.80, respectively). We determined test characteristics (optimum thresholds, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and area under the curve) for CE, ELISA, and the handheld optical and digital refractometers using receiver operating characteristic curve analyses with RID as the reference value. Optimal thresholds for assessing FPT using plasma were higher than for serum, regardless of the method of plasma harvesting. The 4 different devices had comparable areas under the curve, irrespective of the medium used. All analytical methods can be used to assess FPT.

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