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Development of a versatile enzyme immunoassay for the determination of progesterone in feces and serum of zoo animals

The ability of zoos to monitor the reproductive status of their animals can vastly improve the effectiveness of husbandry/management practices, and noninvasive methods such as fecal steroid analysis are the easiest to apply
in a zoo setting. Furthermore, enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is preferred to radioimmunoassay (RIA) as the method of quantifying hormones because EIAs do not involve the use, storage, and disposal of radioactive materials.
However, progesterone is excreted in the feces as predominantly unconjugated metabolites (progestogens) and, until recently, antibodies able to cross-react with a variety of progestogens were used primarily in RIAs. An
EIA using a broad-spectrum progestogen antibody is described and applied to serum and/or fecal samples from female African elephants, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, okapi, and hippopotami. The clear progestogen profiles generated in these species suggest that the described EIA would be as versatile as the RIA using the same antibody and could be a practical and economical alternative to RIAs for monitoring gonadal function via
progestagen analysis in zoo species.
Coordination for vetmeduni vienna
Schwarzenberger Franz
Coordination in general
Graham, L., Savage, A.
Disney´s Animal Kingdom, Animal Programs Administration, 1200 North Savannah Circle East, Bay Lake, US Florida, United States
Type of Research
Basic research
Schwarzenberger F., Contact person
Vetmed Research Units
Institute for Medical Biochemistry
Projekt partner
Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Veterinärmedizinische Endokrinologie, Veterinärplatz 1, A Wien, Austria
Funded by
Disney´s Animal Kingdom, Animal Programs Administration, Florida, United States
3 Publications

Schwarzenberger, F; Palme, R; Bamberg, E; Möstl, E (1997): A review of faecal progesterone metabolite analysis for non-invasive monitoring of reproductive function in mammals. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde - International Journal of Mammal Biology (62), Suppl. II 214-221.

Schwarzenberger, F; Möstl, E; Palme, R; Bamberg, E (1996): Faecal steroid analysis for non-invasive monitoring of reproductive status in farm, wild and zoo animals. Animal Reproduction Science (42) 515-526.

Graham, L; Schwarzenberger, F; Möstl, E; Galama, W; Savage, A (2001): A versatile enzyme immunoassay for the determination of progesterons in feces and serum. Zoo Biol (20) 227-236.

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