Summary. The 34 French Alpine dairy goats originated from a single flock and were artificially inseminated 44 h after synchronization of oestrus. They were bled daily at the jugular vein from 15 to 27 days after AI. An early pregnancy diagnosis by RIA of progesterone concentration was performed 21 days after AI. In pregnant goats (≥ 1·5 ng progesterone/ml) daily sampling was extended until 30 days after AI and, from those, 9 were bled every 2 weeks until the end of pregnancy and at 50 and 63 days post partum. Pregnancy-specific protein B (PSPB) was also assayed.
The kidding rate was 67·6% (23/34). PSPB concentrations (ng/ml) in pregnant goats were significantly different from those of non-pregnant goats at 24 days after AI (0·82 ± 0·18 vs 1·78 ± 0·19; mean ± s.e.m.) and rose to 40 ng/ml at the end of pregnancy. From Day 25 and throughout gestation, females with 2 fetuses had higher PSPB concentrations than did those with a single fetus (P < 0·05). In the 2 goats exhibiting late embryonic mortality according to progesterone concentrations, one had a PSPB profile very similar to those of pregnant goats until 30 days while the other did not show any elevation of PSPB concentration. It is concluded that PSPB profiles in goats are similar to those found in cows throughout pregnancy and that PSPB RIA may be useful for pregnancy diagnosis or diagnosis of late embryonic mortality.
Keywords: PSPB; progesterone; pregnancy; embryonic mortality; goat