Technical note: Comparison of radial immunodiffusion and ELISA for quantification of bovine immunoglobulin G in colostrum and plasma

S. L. Gelsinger, A. M. Smith, C. M. Jones, A. J. Heinrichs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Historically, radial immunodiffusion (RID) has been the only method that directly measures IgG; however, recent studies have reported IgG concentrations in colostrum, milk, and plasma as measured using an ELISA. To our knowledge no comparison between RID and ELISA methods has been made for bovine colostrum or plasma. The objective of this study was to compare IgG concentrations measured by both methods in samples of bovine colostrum before and after heat treatment and bovine plasma. Concentration of IgG was quantified using a commercially available RID kit and a modified ELISA. Samples of bovine colostrum and plasma were collected from individual animals and colostrum was tested before and after heat treatment at 60°C for 30. min. All samples were tested using both methods. Pearson correlation coefficients were determined for RID and ELISA values from unheated colostrum, heat-treated colostrum, and plasma samples. Mixed models were used to determine the effect of assay on IgG measurement in colostrum and plasma and effect of heat treatment on IgG concentration in colostrum. A weak correlation was found between ELISA and RID results in plasma and unheated colostrum. Concentration of IgG was significantly lower in all sample types when measured by ELISA compared to RID. Thus, direct comparison of ELISA and RID results is not recommended. Colostrum IgG concentration significantly decreased after heat treatment as measured by ELISA, but means were not different when measured by RID. Correlation plots between colostrum values measured before and after heat treatment indicated changes in the colostrum protein matrix due to heat affected RID and ELISA assays differently. This investigation compared RID and ELISA results, but no conclusions could be drawn as to the accuracy of either assay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4084-4089
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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