Plasma protein fractions in free-living white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) nestlings from Norway
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background Capillary electrophoresis of plasma proteins has shown great potential as a complementary diagnostic tool for avian species. However, reference intervals for plasma proteins are sparse or lacking for several free-living avian species. The current study reports electrophoretic patterns and concentrations of plasma proteins determined for 70 free-living white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) nestlings from two locations in Norway (Steigen and Smøla) in order to establish reference values for this subpopulation using capillary electrophoresis. The nestlings were between 44 and 87 days of age, and the plasma protein concentrations were investigated for age, sex, year (2015 and 2016) and location differences. To our knowledge, this is the first report of reference intervals of plasma proteins analysed by capillary electrophoresis in free-living white-tailed eagle nestlings. Results The plasma protein concentrations (% of total protein, mean ± SE) were determined for prealbumin (13.7%, 4.34 ± 0.15 g/L), albumin (46.7%, 14.81 ± 0.24 g/L), α1-globulin (2.4%, 0.74 ± 0.03 g/L), α2-globulin (11.7%, 3.72 ± 0.06 g/L), β-globulin (15.9%, 5.06 ± 0.08 g/L) and γ-globulin (9.6%, 3.05 ± 0.09 g/L). Significant differences were found between the two locations for prealbumin, α2- and γ-globulins. No significant differences were found between the two sampling years or sexes, and no effect of age was found for any of the plasma proteins. However, prealbumin levels were several folds higher than previously reported from adults of closely related birds of prey species. There were no other studies on capillary electrophoresis of nestling plasma available for comparison. Conclusion Significant differences were found between sampling locations for prealbumin, α2- and γ-globulins, which may indicate differences in inflammatory or infectious status between nestlings at the two locations. Sampling year, sex or age had no significant effect on the plasma protein concentrations. These results provide novel data on plasma protein concentrations by capillary electrophoresis and may be useful for evaluation of health status in free-living white-tailed eagle nestlings.