CortiCow project: development of a rapid and non-invasive lateral flow immunoassay for the evaluation of cortisol levels in bovine saliva




animal welfare, lateral flow immunoassay, cortisol, saliva, bovine, measurements


Being able to obtain an objective and repeatable measurement of stress levels from a single subject represents a primary issue in animal welfare science, especially in relation to cattle farming. A potential solution has been recently identified in the determination of cortisol’s salivary levels: a non-invasive method strictly related to acute stress. The development of an on-field, easy-to-use method to perform the analysis is yet to be validated. In this study, we developed and tested the reliability of salivary cortisol as a marker for the evaluation of animal welfare. We aimed to develop an on-field use Lateral Flow Immunoassay (LFIA) for the evaluation of acute stress in bovines.

The availability of this non-invasive diagnostic tool will facilitate monitoring of animal welfare. In the short term, this innovation is expected to assist farmers and veterinarians in performing a more objective evaluation of the animal’s acute stress levels.

In the long term, the device could become a key-instrument for the EU’s growing necessity to better monitor and identify the potential stressor factors in animal farming.






Research Papers