Next Article in Journal
Australian Public Opinions Regarding the Live Export Trade before and after an Animal Welfare Media Exposé
Next Article in Special Issue
Assessment of Welfare in Zoo Animals: Towards Optimum Quality of Life
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Cognitive Bias in Zoo Animals: An Optimistic Outlook for Welfare Assessment
Article

Assessment of Commercially Available Immunoassays to Measure Glucocorticoid Metabolites in African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus) Droppings: A Ready Tool for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Stress

1
Department of Physiological and Behavioral Mechanisms of Adaptation (DMPCA), IRSEA (Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology), 84400 Apt, France
2
Clinical Ethology and Animal Welfare Centre (CECBA), IRSEA (Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology), 84400 Apt, France
3
Department of Cellular Processes and Sustainable Interactions (DPCID), IRSEA (Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology), 84400 Apt, France
4
Statistical Analyses Department, IRSEA (Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology), 84400 Apt, France
5
Research and Education Board, IRSEA (Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology), 84400 Apt, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2018, 8(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070105
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zoo Animal Welfare)
The African Grey Parrot is a very popular bird commonly found in zoological collections. However, captivity can prevent it from meeting its natural needs and so become an ongoing stressor, leading sometimes to clinical and/or behavioral disorders. Non-invasive forms of stress assessment are of definite interest for monitoring welfare in captive bird populations. One notable stress outcome is the excretion of glucocorticoid metabolites (from the stress hormone corticosterone) in droppings. The aim of this study was to carefully assess methods of glucocorticoid metabolites extraction and measurement in droppings from African Grey Parrots. Several extraction and enzyme immunoassays procedures were tested, based on the evaluation of analytical quality parameters and biological relevance. The best procedure was found to be a combination of a 60% methanol extraction with the use of a commercial corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. To determine whether this method was suitable for assessing different stress levels, a significant correlation with another reliable stress marker in birds, the Heterophil: Lymphocyte Ratio, was evidenced. This method can thus be used to evaluate stress in African Gray Parrots in a non-invasive way and help to monitor their welfare in zoo populations for instance.
Despite being undomesticated, African Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) are commonly found in captivity, in zoos or as pets. Captivity can be an ongoing stressor. Non-invasive glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) measurements from bird droppings are of interest for assessing stress but require careful evaluation in each newly studied species. This study describes the assessment of such methods for Psittacus erithacus to provide tools for evaluating stress and monitoring welfare. We evaluated 12 method combinations of GCM extraction and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) from a pool of African Grey Parrot droppings, through the validation of several analytical parameters. Then, Heterophil: Lymphocyte Ratios (HLR), another reliable stress marker, were determined and correlated to individual dropping GCM concentrations for 29 birds to determine whether the method is biologically relevant. We found that the best procedure to measure GCM in African Grey Parrot droppings is a combination of 60% methanol extraction measured using a Corticosterone EIA kit (Cayman Chemical Company) from fresh or dry droppings. The establishment of a significant correlation (Pearson coefficient correlation = 0.48; p = 0.0082) between HLR and GCM in the studied population confirmed the method biological relevance. This method can thus be applied to assess stress in Psittacus erithacus and support welfare monitoring in zoo populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: analytical validation; captivity; enzyme immunoassay; Fecal Glucorticoid Metabolites; Heterophil:Lymphocyte Ratio; non-invasive stress measurement; parrot; welfare monitoring analytical validation; captivity; enzyme immunoassay; Fecal Glucorticoid Metabolites; Heterophil:Lymphocyte Ratio; non-invasive stress measurement; parrot; welfare monitoring
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Bienboire-Frosini, C.; Alnot-Perronin, M.; Chabaud, C.; Asproni, P.; Lafont-Lecuelle, C.; Cozzi, A.; Pageat, P. Assessment of Commercially Available Immunoassays to Measure Glucocorticoid Metabolites in African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus) Droppings: A Ready Tool for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Stress. Animals 2018, 8, 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070105

AMA Style

Bienboire-Frosini C, Alnot-Perronin M, Chabaud C, Asproni P, Lafont-Lecuelle C, Cozzi A, Pageat P. Assessment of Commercially Available Immunoassays to Measure Glucocorticoid Metabolites in African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus) Droppings: A Ready Tool for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Stress. Animals. 2018; 8(7):105. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070105

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bienboire-Frosini, Cécile, Muriel Alnot-Perronin, Camille Chabaud, Pietro Asproni, Céline Lafont-Lecuelle, Alessandro Cozzi, and Patrick Pageat. 2018. "Assessment of Commercially Available Immunoassays to Measure Glucocorticoid Metabolites in African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus) Droppings: A Ready Tool for Non-Invasive Monitoring of Stress" Animals 8, no. 7: 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070105

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop