Early pregnancy diagnosis in sheep by progesterone and pregnancy-associated glycoprotein tests

Aly Karen, Jean Françios Beckers, Jose Sulon, Neolita Melo De Sousa, Krisztián Szabados, Jeno Reczigel, Ottó Szenci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of the progesterone (P4) and pregnancy associated glycoprotein (PAG) tests for determination of early pregnancy in sheep. Estrus was synchronized in 182 Awassi x Merino ewes and blood samples were collected at Days 0 (day of the insemination), 18, 22, 29, 36, and 50 after artificial insemination (AI). Plasma P4 concentrations at Days 0 and 18 were determined by double antibody radioimmunoassay, while PAG concentrations at Days 22, 29, 36 and 50 were determined by a heterologous, double-antibody radioimmunoassay (RIA) using the bovine PAG 67 kDa subunit as tracer and standard and rabbit antiserum raised against a mixture of caprine 55 and 59 kDa PAG subunits as the first antibody. The discriminatory value for diagnosis of pregnancy by the P4 and the PAG-RIA tests was ≥1 ng/ml. Based on lambing data, the accuracy for diagnosing pregnant (sensitivity) and non-pregnant ewes (specificity) and predictivity of both tests were calculated. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values for P4 and PAG tests were 100, 95.4, 81.6, and 100% at Day 18 (P4) and 93.5, 100, 100 and 98.7% at Day 22 (PAG), respectively. For diagnosis of non-pregnant ewes the PAG test had significantly higher specificity than the P4 test (P < 0.05). It is concluded that ovine pregnancy can be reliably diagnosed at Day 22 after AI by using a heterologous radioimmunoassay of PAG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1941-1948
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


  • Ewe
  • P4
  • PAG
  • Pregnancy diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine

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