Detection method for identifying growth hormone abuse in milk cows

Hormone use in food production is a controversial topic. Using recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), also called growth hormone, to increase milk production is approved in the USA for instance, but forbidden in the EU. It is of great interest for EU control authorities and concerned US consumers to ensure rbST-free milk production. Therefore, suitable rbST detection methods are required.

Promovendus S (Susann) Ludwig
Promotor prof.dr. MWF (Michel) Nielen
Copromotor dr. LA (Leen) van Ginkel
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratory for Organic Chemistry, RIKILT Wageningen University & Research

ma 23 juni 2014 11:00 tot 12:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

In my thesis, I developed different detection methods to identify whether rbST has been used by analysing blood and milk samples from dairy cows. Since it is difficult to detect the rbST molecule itself in the cow’s body, my detection methods analyse rbST biomarkers that are either increased or decreased after rbST injection.

Implementation of protein biomarker-based detection in veterinary control could be facilitated by including biomarkers in the legal background in analogy to sports doping.
Susann Ludwig

In my thesis, I present rbST detection methods that can be used within a laboratory environment or on the dairy farm directly by making use of a smartphone. Using these methods, samples from rbST-treated animals can be identified.