Short communication: Bovine milk sampling efficiency for pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG) detection test

Helen K. da Silva, Laerte D. Cassoli, José C. F. Pantoja, Pedro H. R. Cerqueira, Tatiane B. Coitinho, Paulo F. Machado


Two experiments were conducted to verify whether the time of day at which a milk sample is collected and the possible carryover in the milking system may affect pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAG) levels and, consequently, the pregnancy test results in dairy cows. In experiment one, we evaluated the effect of time of day at which the milk sample is collected from 51 cows. In experiment two, which evaluated the possible occurrence of carryover in the milk meter milking system, milk samples from 94 cows belonging to two different farms were used. The samples were subjected to pregnancy test using ELISA methodology to measure PAG concentrations and to classify the samples as positive (pregnant), negative (nonpregnant), or suspicious (recheck). We found that the time of milking did not affect the PAG levels. As to the occurrence of carryover in the milk meter, the PAG levels of the samples collected from Farm-2 were heavily influenced by a carryover effect compared with the samples from Farm-1. Thus, milk samples submitted to a pregnancy test can be collected during the morning or the evening milking. When the sample is collected from the milk meters, periodic equipment maintenance should be noted, including whether the milk meter is totally drained between different animals’ milking and equipment cleaning between milking is performed correctly to minimize the occurrence of carryover, thereby avoiding the effect on PAG levels and, consequently, the pregnancy test results. Therefore, a single milk sample can be used for both milk quality tests and pregnancy test.


pregnancy test; milk samples; morning milking; evening milking; carryover; milk meter

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2016144-9923