News : 2012 : October

Best Presentation Award at the 2011 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Annual Conference

Dr. Carolyn Cray was awarded the Safe Capture International Award for best presentation at the annual AAZV meeting in Kansas City. This year, in addition to the poster submission, each presenter was granted a 6 minute oral presentation. This provided the opportunity to present additional data and whet the audience’s appetite to visit the poster and speak with her further on the utility of these assays in their clinical practice. Dr. Cray reported the turn out was strong and that our research efforts were appreciated.

Protein electrophoresis has been used for many years in avian and wildlife medicine. Providing an opportunity to specifically quantitate albumin and view possible globulinopathies, this semi-automated method has been used as part of wellness exams as well as diagnostic workups. In 2009, Bertelsen and co-workers reported the use of acute phase protein assays in non domesticated mammals (J Zoo Wildl Med 40:199-203). Utilizing assays that have been implemented and well validated in traditional animal species such as horses and dogs, the group demonstrated a cross reactivity of the assays and data consistent with the health status of many different wildlife species.

The Avian & Wildlife Laboratory at the University of Miami affords the opportunity to further apply these assays to the practice of zoo and wildlife medicine. Given the wealth of samples submitted to the laboratory for routine diagnostic purposes, we have been able to gauge the reactivity of the assays for C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), and haptoglobin (HP) in a number of varied species including birds, reptiles, and many non domesticated mammal species.

At this year’s AAZV meeting, Dr. Cray presented data showing the increase in SAA and HP during periods of EEHV viremia in Asian elephants, increases in HP in rhinoceros with various disease etiologies, and increases in SAA in manatees subject to cold stress. Applications for prognostic use, wellness exams, and population studies were readily demonstrated.