Evaluation of Three Test Kits for the Manual Counting of Leukocytes in Whole Blood in Wild and Captive Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)
The Becton Dickinson Unopette® leukocyte count test has been used as part of health evaluations of wild ring-tailed lemurs at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve since 2003. Production of the Unopette® was discontinued in 2009. The goal of this project was to select a Unopette® replacement test that is accurate and yields results comparable to historical Unopette® results. This project compared the Whi-pette test (Exotic Animal Solutions, Inc., Hueytown, AL 35223 USA), the LeukoChek™ test (Biomedical Polymers, Inc., Gardner, MA 01440 USA), and a 2% glacial acetic acid test with (1) an automated leukocyte count performed at a United States reference laboratory and (2) the Unopette® manual leukocyte count performed in the field.
Leukocyte count tests are considered acceptable if the results are within 15% of the standard test result.1 For the first part of this study, the standard test was the automated leukocyte count. The Whi-pette and LeukoChek™ test kits performed similarly, both with 66% of results within the acceptable range, whereas 22% of the acetic acid test results were within the acceptable range. For the second part of the study, the standard test was the Unopette® test. Compared with the Unopette® test kit, the Whi-pette and LeukoChek™ tests had 73% and 77% of results within the acceptable range respectively, whereas the acetic acid test had 69% of results within the acceptable range. The Whi-pette and LeukoCheck™ tests appear to be equally acceptable replacements for the Unopette®, whereas the acetic acid test is not an acceptable replacement.
1. Code of Federal Regulations. Title 42, Chapter IV, Subchapter G, Part 493: Laboratory Requirements. 2004.