Metabolic Profiling

A "metabolic profile" is defined as a series of specific analytical tests run in combination and used as a herd-based rather than individual-based, diagnostic aid.

What is Metabolic Profiling?

Blood tests from individual animals are routinely used to diagnose disease problems in dairy cattle. Veterinarians, producers, and nutrition consultants alike seem interested in extracting pertinent information relative to herd nutrition and health status from blood testing. Relationships between nutritional status, metabolic state of the animal, and blood analyte (i.e., collective term for various nutrient and metabolic parameters measured) concentrations have been well documented in experimental research under controlled conditions. Properly applied metabolic profile testing, as defined by appropriate animal selection and sample collection, can potentially provide direct confirmatory evaluation of metabolic health and disease risk or evaluate nutritive status on a herd basis.

A "metabolic profile" is defined as a series of specific analytical tests run in combination and used as a herd-based rather than individual-based, diagnostic aid. Use of metabolic profile is the result of technologic improvements in analytical instrumentation, which can completel multiple analyses in a short time period.


Historical Perspectives of Metabolic Profiling

  • The Compton Metabolic Profile Test. J. M. Payne. Proc R Soc Med. 1972 Feb;65(2):181-3
  • The use of a metabolic profile test in dairy herds. J. M. Payne, S. M. Dew, R. Manston, M. Faulks. Vet Rec. 1970 Aug 8;87(6):150-8
  • Blood Metabolic Profiles: Their Use and Relation to Nutritional Status of Dairy Cows. A. J. Lee, A. R. Twardock, et al. 1978. J. Dairy. Sci. 61(11):1652-1670

Reviews of Metabolic Profiling

  • Blood Metabolic Profiles: Their Use and Relation to Nutritional Status of Dairy Cows. Lee, A. J., A. R. Twardock, et al. (1978). J. Dairy Sci. 61(11):1652-1670
  • Week-to-week variation in blood composition of dairy cows and its effect on interpretations of metabolic profile tests. Rowlands, G. J. 1984. Br Vet J 140(6): 550-7.
  • Metabolic Profile Testing in Dairy Herds: Wrong Answer or Wrong Question? Eicher, R.  Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2003, 44(Suppl 1) p28.

Applications of Metabolic Profiling as a Herd Screening Tool

  • Use and Limitations of profiles in assessing health or nutritional status of dairy herds. R. S. Adams, W. L. Stout, et al. 1978. J. Dairy Sci. 61(11):1671-1679.
  • Relationships of metabolic profiles to milk production and feeding in dairy cows. Kida, K. 2003. J Vet Med Sci 65(6): 671-7.
  • Use of metabolic profiles for the assessment of dietary adequacy in UK dairy herds. Macrae, A. I., D. A. Whitaker, et al. 2006. Vet Rec 159(20): 655-61.
  • Use of Every Ten-Day Criteria for Metabolic Profile Test after Calving and Dry Off in Dairy Herds.  K. Katsuya. J. Vet. Med. Sci. 2002 64(11):1003-1010.
  • Metabolic Profiles in Virginia Dairy Herds of Different Milk Yields.  Jones, G. M., E. E. Wildman, et al. (1982). J. Dairy Sci. 65(4): 683-688.
  • Studies of the transition cow under a pasture-based milk production system: metabolic profiles. Cavestany, D., J. E. Blanc, et al. 2005 J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med 52(1): 1-7.
  • Metabolic profiles and progetsterone cycles in first lactation dairy cows. Taylor, V. J., D. E. Beever, et al. 2003. Theriogenology 59(7): 1661-77.
  • Metabolic profile testing for Jersey cows in Louisiana: reference values. Roussel, J. D., S. H. Seybt. et al. 1982. Am J Vet Res 43(6): 1075-7.
  • First lactation ovarian function in dairy heifers in relation to prepubertal metabolic profiles. Taylor, V. J., D. E. Beever, et al. 2004. J Endocrinol 180(1): 63-75.
  • Use of metabolic profiles in dairy cattle in tropical and subtropical countries on smallholder dairy farms. Whitaker, D. A., W. J. Goodger, et al. 1999. Prev Vet Med 38(2-3): 119-31.

Metabolic Profiling in Assessing Disease Conditions

  • Metabolic parameters and blood leukocyte profiles in cows from herds with high or low mastitis incidence.  Holtenius, K., K. Persson Waller, et al. 2004. Vet J 168(1): 65-73.
  • The metabolic profile test: its practicability in assessing feeding management and periparturient diseases in high yielding commercial dairy herds. Kida, K. 2002 J Vet Med Sci 64(7): 557-63.
  • Metabolic profile in cows in the peripartum period with and without retained placenta. Kudlac, E., M. Sakour, et al. 1995. Vet Med (Praha) 40(7): 201-7.
  • Metabolic profiles around calving in five high-producing Swedish dairy herds with a history or abomasal displacement and ketosis. Stengarde, L., M. Traven, et al. 2008. Acta Vet Scand 50(1): 31.
  • Reducing Dry Period Length to Simplify Feeding Transition Cows: Milk Production, Energy Balance, and Metabolic Profiles. Rastani, R. R., R. R. Grummer, et al. (2005). "." J. Dairy Sci. 88(3): 1004-1014.
  • Effects of Supplemental Vitamin E on the Performance and Metabolic Profiles of Dairy Calves. Reddy, P. G., J. L. Morrill, et al. (1985). J. Dairy Sci. 68(9): 2259-2266.
  • Macromineral disorders of the transition cow. Goff, J. P. (2004). Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 20(3): 471-94, v.

More Metabolic Profiling Resources

Methodologies used in metabolic profiling have ranged from mean analysis of multiple analytes to proportional analysis of single analytes. Perparturient disease is a result of the cow's inability to maintain coordinated metabolism between lipid, glucose and amino acids. Use of pooled samples was evaluated as a method to collect usable information on herd metabolic status encompassing multiple parameters without the high cost of individual sampling. Aim of this study was to determine if diagnostic interpretation guidelines can be established for pooled metabolic profile samples.