Rapid assessment of immune status in neonatal ruminants of endangered species facilitates early intervention in cases of inadequate passive transfer of maternal immunoglobulins. Serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) was used to evaluate suspected passive transfer status in 25 North Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak vaginalis), 45 Cretan goats (Capra algagrus cretica), 20 white-lipped deer (Cervus albirostris), 25 Mhorr gazelles (Gazella dama mhorr), and 31 Soemmerring's gazelles (Gazella soemmerringi soemmerringi). Serum GGT, measured within 48 hr of birth, was compared with clinical condition at 5 days of age. Neonatal Soemmerring's and Mhorr gazelles with GGT >600 U/L were likely to survive without medical intervention, whereas GGT <400 U/L was a good indicator that the gazelle neonate would need medical intervention. Neonatal muntjac with GGT >200 U/L were also likely to survive without medical intervention. Because there is no gold standard for evaluating passive transfer status in neonatal nondomestic ruminants, it is recommended to evaluate the results of more than one diagnostic test, as well as clinical condition, in considering health status and disposition of neonatal ruminants of endangered species.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2