Evaluating a Rapid Field Assessment System for Anticoagulant Rodenticide Exposure of Raptors

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Anticoagulant rodenticides are commonly used to control rodents; however, there is a risk of poisoning non-target species, especially predatory and scavenging birds.

Multiple commercially available point-of-care devices measure prothrombin time – a useful biomarker for anticoagulant rodenticide exposure – of humans, and domestic and companion mammals. Researchers evaluated the potential of one commercially available device, the Coag-Sense® PT/INR Monitoring System, to rapidly detect anticoagulant rodenticide exposure of living birds of prey. The Coag-Sense device delivered repeatable measurements on avian blood samples collected from four species of raptors; however, measurements reported by the device from 81 ferruginous hawk nestlings were not correlated to those measured by a one-stage laboratory avian prothrombin time assay. The lack of suitability for detecting potential anticoagulant rodenticide exposure of birds of prey is likely related to the use of a mammalian reagent in the clotting reaction, suggesting that the device may perform better in testing mammalian wildlife.   
 

Dickson, A., Belthoff, J.R., Mitchell, K.A., Smith, B.W., Wallace, Z., Stuber, M.J., Lockhart, J.M., Rattner, B.A., Katzner, T.E., 2020, Evaluating a Rapid Field Assessment System for Anticoagulant Rodenticide Exposure of Raptors: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-020-00763-6