The European Union has banned the use of recombinant bovine somatotropins (rbST, growth hormones) to increase milk yield in dairy cattle. As direct detection of rbST in serum is problematic, methods based on the detection of changes in multiple rbST-dependent biomarkers have high potential for monitoring rbST abuse. In this study immunoassays were developed for total insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in cow sera. Ultimately aiming at combination with other rbST-dependent biomarker assays two multiplex formats were studied and compared critically, a multi-channel surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based biosensor and flow cytometry combined with color encoded microbeads. Moreover, a new dedicated sample pretreatment was developed for the dissociation of complexed IGF-1 in serum, while keeping other biomarkers in solution. Compared to the SPR biosensor immunoassay, the flow cytometric immunoassay (FCIA) was more sensitive, less antibody-consuming and less vulnerable to necessary but interfering reagents from the sample treatment. In an initial in-house validation study the developed FCIA showed to be fast, specific, robust, and a high repeatability and reliability, and generated realistic IGF-1 values for bovine serum, without compromising the potential for simultaneous detection of other biomarkers. Due to the xMAP technology, in which 100 different bead sets can be measured simultaneously, the total IGF-1 assay can easily be extended with other immunoassays for candidate biomarkers. Preliminary results about a FCIA for IGF-1 multiplexing with insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) are presented which strongly supported both the FCIA multiplex format as well as the generic nature of the developed sample pretreatment.
- exogenous bovine somatotropin
- lactating cows