Preliminary study of faecal cortisol and corticosterone as an index of acute cortisol secretion in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Johnston, S. D., Booth, R. A., Pyne, M., Keeley, T., Mackie, J. T., Hulse, L. and Ellis, W. (2013) Preliminary study of faecal cortisol and corticosterone as an index of acute cortisol secretion in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Australian Veterinary Journal, 91 12: 534-537. doi:10.1111/avj.12125


Author Johnston, S. D.
Booth, R. A.
Pyne, M.
Keeley, T.
Mackie, J. T.
Hulse, L.
Ellis, W.
Title Preliminary study of faecal cortisol and corticosterone as an index of acute cortisol secretion in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
Formatted title
Preliminary study of faecal cortisol and corticosterone as an index of acute cortisol secretion in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
Journal name Australian Veterinary Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0005-0423
1751-0813
Publication date 2013-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/avj.12125
Volume 91
Issue 12
Start page 534
End page 537
Total pages 4
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Subject 3400 Veterinary
Formatted abstract
Background: Stress can play a role in disease incidence in all species via immunosuppression and has been implicated as a contributing factor in significant infectious diseases of koalas. Faecal cortisol measurement may represent a non-invasive methodology for quantifying stress in koalas.

Methods: We used an ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) stimulation test (10IU) to induce sustained secretion of cortisol, which was measured in serum samples from four koalas and subsequently it was attempted to locate a corresponding elevation in either cortisol or corticosterone measurements within the faeces.

Results: Although ACTH administration resulted in an elevation of serum cortisol for at least 4h post injection, it was not possible to identify a corresponding peak in corticosterone or cortisol concentrations in extracts from the faeces, consistent with the known gut transit time of the koala.

Conclusion: Faecal cortisol and corticosterone metabolites may not be reliable indices of acute changes in cortisol secretion in the koala and studies that attempt to use faecal cortisol as an index of stress will need to be interpreted with caution.
Keyword ACTH stimulation test
Corticosterone
Cortisol
Koalas
Stress
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2014 Collection
 
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