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Pregnancy Detection Technology

Lab demonstration showcases pregnancy test that can detect pregnancy at 28 days.

RUIDOSO, NEW MEXICO (Aug. 30, 2018) — Andrew Orr, livestock, poultry and dairy inside sales account manager, and Rafael Paiva, professional service veterinarian for the western bovine territory of Idexx, demonstrated the use of the Idexx Rapid Visual Pregnancy Test during the 2018 Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle workshop hosted in Ruidoso, N.M., Aug. 29-30. The at-home blood test allows producers to confirm if their cattle are pregnant.

“Ideally we can sell this kit to any producer or veterinarian,” Paiva said. “If you don’t have enough cattle to justify performing the blood test, you can send the samples to your vet, and they can run the same test.”

The kit is stored in the refrigerator, with a shelf life of about a year. The recommendation is to remove the kit from the refrigerator one hour before processing and running samples. Blood samples also need to be set out if they were previously in the refrigerator. However, warm blood samples directly from the animal can be processed, as well.

The kit comes with tubes and needles to make the process easier. The only item not included in the kit is the distilled water needed to wash the wells. Only 2 mL of blood are needed because 1 mL is used in the test. Four reagents are included in addition to positive and negative controls. The instructions are detailed enough to make the process easy for anyone.

“The controls are basically just reconstituted bovine serum to make sure the test runs correctly,” Orr said. “When the sample tests positive for pregnancy, it will turn blue. If it is negative it will remain clear.”

Eight rows of eight wells are snapped into a tray, allowing producers to run as many or as few samples at one time as they need to. The wells are actually coated with a receptor that will bind to the pregnancy associated glycoprotein (PAG).

“Our test targets seven of those PAGs and can detect a pregnancy through all stages of gestation,” Paiva said. “It can detect pregnancy as early as 28 days.”

Competitors with similar technology can only detect one glycoprotein. The glycoprotein only binds to the placenta, so if there is not one the test will come back negative.

“This test is very accurate and takes less than 30 minutes,” Paiva explained. “The results are not at all open to interpretation. It is either positive or not.” Anything that turns even a remote shade of blue is positive. It is as simple as that.

This technology has the potential to check for diseases found through blood tests. Some of those diseases result in open cows.

“You can use this in any part of your operation based on your goals,” Paiva added. “It can verify BVDV status, identify and remove PI animals, and more.”

Editor's Note: This article was written under contract or by staff of Angus Media. To request reprint permission and guidelines, contact the Angus Media editorial team at 816-383-5200.