Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference






Publication Date


Award Number

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council BB/L011085/1; USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 2013-67015-21291


Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)


Serum biochemical parameters can be utilized to evaluate the physiological status of an animal, and relate it to the animal’s health. In order to accurately interpret individual animal biochemical results, species-specific reference intervals (RI) must be established. Reference intervals for biochemical parameters differ between species, and physiological differences including reproductive status, nutritional resource availability, disease status, and age affect parameters within the same species. The objectives of this study were to (1) establish RI for biochemical parameters in managed African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), (2) assess the effects of age, sex, pregnancy, and season on serum biochemistry values, and (3) compare serum biochemistry values from a managed herd to a free-ranging buffalo herd and to values previously published for captive (zoo) buffalo. Season profoundly affected all biochemistry parameters, possibly due to changes in nutrition and disease exposure. Age also affected all biochemical parameters except gamma glutamyl transferase and magnesium, consistent with patterns seen in cattle. Sex and reproductive status had no detectable effects on the parameters that were measured. The biochemical profiles of managed buffalo were distinct from those observed in the free-ranging herd and captive buffalo. Biochemical differences between buffalo from captive, managed, and free-ranging populations may be related to nutritional restriction or lack of predation in the context of management or captivity. The reference intervals provided in this study, in addition to the seasonal and age-related patterns observed, provide a foundation for health investigations that may inform management strategies in this ecologically and economically important species.

Included in

Dairy Science Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.