Q. What is BioPRYN®?

A. BioPRYN is a blood pregnancy test for ruminants, and has specific appeal for the commercial U.S. dairy and beef industries because it delivers fast, accurate, safe and economical pregnancy diagnostic results. The technology works on all ruminants, including cattle, sheep, goats, bison, deer, elk and moose. A specific test using ELISA technology, which produces fast results and has been developed for use exclusively in cattle.

Q. How does BioPRYN detect pregnancies?

A. BioPRYN evaluates the blood (more specifically, the serum or plasma) of ruminants for a protein called Pregnancy Specific Protein B (PSPB). PSPB is produced by the placenta, and therefore pregnant animals will have the protein in their blood. This makes the test more accurate than earlier attempts at pregnancy diagnosis that evaluated blood or milk for progesterone or other hormones that can occur in normally cycling animals.

The test uses enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technology for processing, which contributes to its low cost and fast turn-around.

Q. How early in a pregnancy can animals be tested with BioPRYN?

A. Heifers and cows can be tested at 28 days or later, after breeding. Lactating cows must also be 73 days after calving.

Lactating cows have residual PSPB from the previous pregnancy until 73 days after calving. To eliminate the risk of a false-positive result, breeders are cautioned to take the sample at 28 days or more after breeding, and 73 days or more after calving. Thus if a cow is bred at 45 days after calving, it is appropriate to take the 28 days post-breeding sample, which is 73 days after calving.

Animals that are detected open can then be immediately returned to aggressive breeding programs using other reproductive technologies.

Q. What is the accuracy of BioPRYN?

A. BioPRYN is greater than 99 percent accurate when the test identifies animals at least 28 days post breeding as open with less than 1 percent showing false-open (false-negative). Correct open detection is very important because giving prostaglandin to misdiagnosed pregnant cows will cause abortion.

The false-pregnant (false-positive) rate for the test is approximately 5 percent. In practice, high-producing dairy cows tend to show slightly higher false-positive rates of 7 to 8 percent, especially during periods of extremely hot weather. It is presumed that a portion of this variance is due to higher early embryonic death, and not to test inaccuracy.

Inaccuracies can also occur because of mislabeling of samples or cross contamination of one sample with another. A new needle and tube must be used for each animal.

Q. How much does BioPRYN cost?

A. The test itself costs $2.50 from the laboratory that processes it (this price may vary by laboratory), plus the cost of a sample tube and needle. Shipping expenses also must be added if the tests are not processed locally.

Q. What are the advantages of using BioPRYN versus other methods of pregnancy diagnosis?

A. Producers incur approximately the same or less cost using BioPRYN compared to rectal palpation by a veterinarian, and less cost than ultrasound. It is also considerably less expensive than currently available on-farm diagnostic methods.

BioPRYN allows producers to diagnose pregnancy more rapidly after breeding than rectal palpation. Cows diagnosed open can then be re-bred more quickly, resulting in tighter calving seasons.

The test is more convenient to beef operations because on-farm personnel can draw and ship blood samples, rather than working around a veterinarian’s schedule. Eliminating rectal palpation also frees up the veterinarian to concentrate on management issues and recommendations with the farm staff.

No test is more accurate than BioPRYN. Fewer cows are called open by mistake and treated to initiate new reproductive cycles, causing abortion. This can improve reproductive performance and amount to considerable savings.

In addition, efficiency and cost savings is gained by earlier re-establishing synchronization in cows correctly detected as open.

Q. How long does it take to receive the test results?

A. The test requires 24 hours from laboratory set-up to reporting. A report can be made for the next working day for samples arriving in the lab before noon the day of testing. If samples are mailed by overnight carrier, add an extra day to this schedule. Results can be given to the producer via fax, e-mail or phone.

Q. How should blood samples be prepared and shipped?

A. Farm personnel draw blood samples from the tail or jugular vein, an easy-to-learn procedure. Blood samples of at least 2 mL per animal should be collected in individual vacuum tubes and labeled with each animal’s identification number. It is important to draw samples using individual, disposable needles, to avoid cross-contamination between animals. Needles and tubes can be obtained from BioTracking, veterinarians or veterinarian supply companies. A red-topped 3, 5, 7, or 10 mL vacuum plastic or glass tube is the least expensive and works best.

Tubes containing blood samples should not be opened and should be packed in a well-padded box to avoid breakage. They do NOT need to be packaged in ice. Samples may stay in transit for several days (two-weeks or more) without compromising the results of the test. Fastest results, however, are achieved when samples are shipped via an overnight carrier.

Shipping instructions

Q. Who manufactures BioPRYN?

A. Dr. R. Garth Sasser of BioTracking Inc., developed the BioPRYN test using technology licensed from the University of Idaho. BioTracking is the sole manufacturer of BioPRYN.

Q. How can a producer get started using BioPRYN?

A. Producers should contact BioTracking or one of the BioPRYN affiliate laboratories for detailed shipping instructions. Be sure to check with the laboratory for pricing and the days the BioPRYN test is offered.

Q. To whom is the test available?

A. Thanks to the availability of efficient shipping methods, BioTracking Inc. or one of the BioPRYN affiliate laboratories can process samples from farms throughout the United States and internationally.

Q. Where can I find more information about BioPRYN?

A. To learn more about BioPRYN, contact BioTracking Inc. or one of the BioPRYN affiliate laboratories.

Phone: (208) 882-9736

E-mail: biotracking@biotracking.com