Failure of passive transfer (FPT) in captive greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) calves can lead to increased morbidity and mortality. In this retrospective study, serum samples from neonatal kudu calves were tested for immunoglobulin using different tests validated for domestic ruminants, including measurement of gamma globulin (GG) measured by protein electrophoresis, total solids (TS) measured by calibrated refractometry, total protein (TP) and globulins measured by colorimetry, gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), and the zinc sulfate turbidity test (ZSTT). In a logistic regression model, TP, TS, globulins, and the natural log transform of GGT were the only significant parameters associated with FPT. Various historic parameters related to the dam, as well as calf weight, sex, glucose, and packed cell volume, were not significant. Based on the results, FPT in greater kudu is defined as GG of <0.5 g/dl, a value lower than that in domestic cattle. TS measured by refractometry has an 80% sensitivity and a 100% specificity for FPT in greater kudu. With FPT defined as GG < 0.5 g/dl, kudu calves with a TS < 4.8 g/dl and a negative ZSTT have an increased probability of requiring medical intervention and additional diagnostics may be warranted.
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