Neutrophils are one of the initial cell lines of protection against pathogens, and when their concentrations in the blood are low, animals are highly susceptible to infections. Neutropenia has been reported in cetaceans secondary to administration of systemic sulfa antibiotics or antifungal medications and severe, overwhelming infection. Filgrastim was administered to treat neutropenia over a 15-y period in 11 cetaceans comprising four species—beluga (Delphinapterus leucas, n = 1), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, n = 4), killer whale (Orcinus orca, n = 5), and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus, n = 1)] ranging in age from 1 wk to >24 y. Seven study animals received multiple doses (2–6). All animals responded to at least one dose (1–7 µg/kg) of parenteral filgrastim characterized by an increase in peripheral immature (band) neutrophils, segmented neutrophils, or both. In most cases (9/11), neutrophil counts increased within 48 h of a single dose. Duration of response varied but was at least 2 wk in eight of the 11 animals and 5–9 d in the remaining animals. No adverse reactions were observed in any cases.
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28 September 2021
EFFICACY OF HUMAN RECOMBINANT GRANULOCYTE COLONY-STIMULATING FACTOR (G-CSF, FILGRASTIM; NEUPOGEN®) IN NEUTROPENIC CETACEANS
Michelle R. Davis,
Judy St. Leger,