Protein electrophoresis of psittacine plasma

Carolyn Cray, Marilyn Rodriguez, Julia Zaias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Background: Although protein electrophoresis (EPH) has been widely applied in human and veterinary medicine, it has only recently been implemented in the analysis of avian samples. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the application of protein EPH to the analysis of psittacine plasma samples. Our goals were to describe protein fraction mobility, establish reference intervals for some common species, determine the coefficient of variation (CV) of the chosen method, and examine the effects of sample handling and sample condition. Methods: Heparinized plasma samples from several common psittacine species (minimum sample size 50 each) were examined using the Beckman Paragon system and SPEP-II gels. Total protein was measured by refractometry. Reference intervals (95%) were calculated by the rank methods. Results: Fraction migration patterns were found to vary among common psittacine species. Day-to-day CV for the EPH fractions ranged from 2.2% to 10.5%; within-run CV ranged from 4.8% to 10.8%; and total CV ranged from 3.2% to 14.8%. The highest CV was noted for the poorly defined α-globulin fraction. Prolonged refrigeration, repeated freeze-thawing, hemolysis, and lipemia altered the results. Conclusions: Protein fractions from psittacine species were variable in terms of migration pattern and protein concentration, which necessitates the use of species-specific reference intervals. Avian protein electrophoretic patterns and values should be interpreted based on knowledge of the CV associated with the technique as well as on the effects of sample handling and condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • A/G ratio
  • Albumin
  • Avian
  • Globulin
  • Plasma proteins
  • Protein electrophoresis
  • Psittacine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


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