The ketone β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) serves as an energy source when bodily energy stores are low. Concentrations of this blood analyte are often determined by spectrophotometric quantitative assays with a dry chemistry analyzer; however, rapid assessment with point-of-care devices have the potential to improve assessment of animals in the field or in clinical settings. We measured BHB concentrations in whole blood samples from 54 leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), 27 loggerhead (Caretta caretta), and 14 green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles in Florida, US with a point-of-care device and validated its use with corresponding plasma samples and dry chemistry analyzer as the gold standard. Concentrations of BHB highly correlated between the two methods for all three species, with loggerheads showing the best agreement and lowest bias. Therefore, the point-of-care device used for this study (Lucidplus β-ketone monitoring system) is probably appropriate for sea turtle BHB measurements.
Keywords: Caretta caretta; Chelonia mydas; Dermochelys coriacea; biochemistry; blood; fasting physiology; green sea turtle; health; ketone; leatherback sea turtle; loggerhead sea turtle.
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