An evaluation of Brix refractometry instruments for measurement of colostrum quality in dairy cattle

V. Bielmann, J. Gillan, N. R. Perkins, A. L. Skidmore, S. Godden, K. E. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acquisition of high quality colostrum is an important factor influencing neonatal calf health. Many methods have been used to assess the Ig concentration of colostrum; however, improved, validated evaluation tools are needed. The aims of this study were to evaluate both optical and digital Brix refractometer instruments for the measurement of Ig concentration of colostrum as compared with the gold standard radial immunodiffusion assay laboratory assessment and to determine the correlation between Ig measurements taken from fresh and frozen colostrum samples for both Brix refractometer instruments. This research was completed using 288 colostrum samples from 3 different farms. It was concluded that the optical and digital Brix refractometers were highly correlated for both fresh and frozen samples (r = 0.98 and r = 0.97, respectively). Correlation between both refractometer instruments for fresh and frozen samples and the gold standard radial immunodiffusion assay were determined to be very similar, with a correlation coefficient between 0.71 and 0.74. Both instruments exhibited excellent test characteristics, indicating an appropriate cut-off point of 22% Brix score for the identification of good quality colostrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3713-3721
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume93
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Brix refractometer
  • Colostrum quality
  • Failure of passive transfer
  • Immunoglobulin

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