Programs and Services

BioPRYN Blood Pregnancy Testing

For years producers have been looking for a convenient and accurate way to determine if a cow is preg-nant as soon as possible after breeding. BioTracking, LLC, and its certified affiliated laboratories around the world offer a fast, accurate, safe and economical pregnancy test with BioPRYN®. The blood-based test uses an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to evaluate ruminant blood samples for pregnancy. BioPRYN was developed by Dr. Garth Sasser, an emeritus University of Idaho animal science professor.

The test evaluates blood (specifically the serum or plasma) for the presence of pregnancy specific protein B (PSPB). This is unlike other tests previously available which attempted to diagnose pregnancy by evaluat-ing blood or milk for hormones or proteins that occur in normally cycling animals. The source of PSPB is the placenta. BioPRYN detects the presence of PSPB as early as 30 days after breeding.

In cows with calves at side, pregnancy can be diagnosed 30 days after breeding, but cows also must be at least 90 days post calving, to ensure that the PSPB from the previous calf has been eliminated from the bloodstream.

“For years, producers have been frustrated by the somewhat cumbersome nature of other pregnancy-detection methods,” says Sasser. “We are pleased to bring industries a new option that meets all of the criteria that producers want: it is fast, accurate, inexpensive, increases income, and can detect pregnancy very early in gestation.”

How it works

To begin the process, a producer draws at least 2 mL of blood per animal in red topped blood collection tubes which must be labeled sequentially and correctly with the animal’s identification number. When drawing the blood the producer must use a new needle for each animal to avoid cross-contamination. Needles and tubes can be obtained from their local testing facility, veterinarians or veterinarian supply companies. The samples should then be packaged, without coolant, for shipping in a well padded box. A submittal form must be included and can be obtained from the Waupun Veterinary Service (WVS) web site at The cost of the test is $2.40.

Results come quickly

Twenty-seven hours from when the samples reach the lab, results are sent to producers using email, fax, mail or phone. In most cases, the day after the sample arrives in the laboratory, the producer will have the report. The overall accuracy rate of the test is 97%, with 99% accuracy detecting open animals and 95% accuracy detecting pregnant animals. The test may call up to 5% of open animals pregnant (false positive) but will diagnose less than 1% of the animals that are pregnant as open (false negative).

“These results are more accurate than those achieved by rectal palpation, and the diagnosis is available earlier in the pregnancy,” says Sasser. “The additional days that producers gain by diagnosing pregnancies earlier can add more to their bottom line, because open animals can be returned to breeding programs more quickly, resulting in fewer days open, more pregnant cows and more calves born per year.”

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