Interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha values in elk neonates

Shannon M. Barber-Meyer, Craig R. Johnson, Michael P. Murtaugh, L. David Mech, P. J. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Serological indicators of general condition would be helpful for monitoring or assessing ungulate wildlife. Toward that end, we report the 1st reference values for 2 cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), in neonatal elk (Cervus elaphus). We obtained blood samples from 140 calves ≤ 6 days old in Yellowstone National Park during summer 2003-2005. TL-6 values ranged from 0 to 1.21 pg/ml with a median of 0.03 pg/ml. TNF-α values ranged from 0 to 225.43 pg/ml with a median of 1.85 pg/ml. IL-6 and TNF-α concentrations were not significant predictors of elk calf survival through 21 days. Development of ungulate-based IL-6 and TNF-α assays that provide greater sensitivity than cross-reacting human-based assays could be helpful in monitoring ungulate condition and health status comparisons among herds. Such information could provide indirect assessments of range quality or environmental influences among herds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Cervus elaphus
  • Cytokine
  • Elk
  • Immunocompetence
  • Interleukin-6
  • Survival
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha
  • Yellowstone


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