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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Quantification of stress sensitive markers in single fecal samples do not accurately predict excretion of these in the pig

Carlsson, Hans-Erik; Lyberg, Karin; Royo, Felix; Hau, Jann


All feces produced during 24 h were collected from five pigs and cortisol and immunoreactive cortisol metabolites (CICM), and IgA were quantified. Within pigs, the concentrations of CICM and IgA varied extensively between random samples obtained from a single fecal dropping, and deviated in most cases significantly from the true concentration measured in total fecal output (CV 6.7-130%). The CICM and IgA contents varied considerably (CV 8.1-114%) within and between individual fecal droppings from the same pig compared to the total fecal excretion. In conclusion, single random samples could not be used to reliably quantify the total fecal concentration or excretion of CICM or IgA in pigs. Analyses of all feces collected during shorter periods than 24 h did not provide an accurate estimate of the daily excretion of CICM. Thus, the concentration of stress sensitive molecules in random single fecal samples as an indicator of animal welfare should be interpreted with prudence. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


cortisol; immunoglobulin A; stress; pigs; feces; animal welfare

Published in

Research in Veterinary Science
2007, volume: 82, number: 3, pages: 423-428

Authors' information

Carlsson, Hans-Erik
Uppsala University
Lyberg, Karin (Camp, Karin)
Uppsala University
Royo, Felix
Uppsala University
Hau, Jann
Uppsala University

UKÄ Subject classification

Other Basic Medicine

Publication Identifiers


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