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To assess the feasibility of a serum-based test using infrared spectroscopy to identify a subpopulation of mares at risk of producing foals susceptible to failure of passive transfer of immunity (FPT) because of mare-associated factors. Serum was collected from post-parturient mares (n = 126) and their foals at 24-72 h of age. A radial immunodiffusion IgG test was used to determine each foal's serum IgG concentration. Infrared absorbance spectra of dam sera were collected in the wave number range of 400-4000 cm(-1). Following data preprocessing, pattern recognition techniques were used to identify spectroscopic information capable of distinguishing between mares with FPT foals and those with normal foals. The sensitivity and specificity of infrared spectroscopy to detect risk-positive mares were calculated. Five wave number regions were identified as optimal for distinguishing between the two groups of mares: 740.9-785.2 cm(-1), 796.8-816.0 cm(-1), 970.4-993.5 cm(-1), 1371.6-1406.3 cm(-1) and 1632.0-1659.0 cm(-1). Based upon the infrared spectroscopic information within these discriminatory subregions, the spectra provided the risk status of the mares with a classification success rate of 81.0%. The sensitivity of the classification system was 85.7% and specificity was 80.0%. This preliminary study demonstrates that infrared spectra of dam serum have the potential to provide the basis for a new periparturient screening method for a subpopulation of mares at risk of having a foal susceptible to FPT. Further development may provide an economic and rapid technique for the pre-parturient assessment of mares. © 2012 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2012 Australian Veterinary Association.


C B Riley, J T McClure, S Low-Ying, B K Dolenko, R L Somorjai, R A Shaw. Feasibility of infrared spectroscopy with pattern recognition techniques to identify a subpopulation of mares at risk of producing foals diagnosed with failure of transfer of passive immunity. Australian veterinary journal. 2012 Oct;90(10):387-91

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PMID: 23004229

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