Rapp-Santos, K. J., Altamura, L. A., Norris, S. L. et al. 2017. Comparison of saliva collection methods for the determination of salivary cortisol levels in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), and African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). JAALAS 56(2), 181-189.
The ability to quickly and accurately determine cortisol as a biomarker for stress is a valuable tool in assessing the wellbeing of NHP. In this study, 2 methods of collecting saliva (a commercial collection device and passive drool) and the resulting free salivary cortisol levels were compared with total serum cortisol concentration in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) at 2 collection time points. Serum and salivary cortisol levels were determined using a competitive quantitative ELISA. In addition, both saliva collection methods were evaluated for volume collected and ease of use. Compared with passive drool, the experimental collection device was more reliable in collecting sufficient volumes of saliva, and the resulting salivary cortisol values demonstrated stronger correlation with serum cortisol concentration in all species and collection days except cynomolgus macaques on day 1. This saliva collection device allows quick and reliable sample collection for the determination of salivary cortisol levels. In addition, the results might provide a useful tool for evaluating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity or the physiologic stress reaction in NHP as well as a biomarker of psychologic stress states in a variety of situations.