Publications

Increase in white blood cell counts by pegbovigrastim in primiparous and multiparous grazing dairy cows and the interaction with prepartum body condition score and non-esterified fatty acids concentration

Barca, Joaquín; Schukken, Ynte H.; Meikle, Ana

Summary

The objective of this study was to determine if parity affected the effect of pegbovigrastim (PEG) treatment on white blood cell (WBC) counts in grazing dairy cows. Additionally, the association of prepartum body condition score (BCS) and non-esterified fatty acid (Pre-NEFA) concentration with WBC counts was investigated. The effect of early-lactation disease was included in the statistical analysis. A randomized controlled trial on four commercial grazing dairy farms was performed. Holstein primiparous (Control = 87, PEG = 89) and multiparous (Control = 181, PEG = 184) cows were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: first PEG dose 8 ± 5 (mean ± SD) days before the expected calving date and a second dose within 24 h after calving (PEG) compared to untreated controls (Control). Treatment effects were evaluated with mixed linear regression models. Treatment with PEG increased WBC, neutrophil, lymphocyte and monocyte counts at 6 ± 1 (mean ± SD) days in milk. Parity, BCS and their interactions with treatment were not associated with WBC counts. In control cows, Pre-NEFA concentration was associated with reduced WBC, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts and tended to be associated with reduced monocyte counts. Pegbovigrastim treatment reversed the negative association of Pre-NEFA concentration with neutrophil and monocyte counts and tended to reverse the negative association of Pre-NEFA concentration with WBC counts. In the PEG treated group, cows diagnosed with retained placenta or metritis showed lower neutrophil counts when compared to PEG treated cows without these clinical diseases. These data confirm that PEG treatment increases WBC, neutrophil, lymphocyte and monocyte counts in grazing dairy cows and that this effect is independent of parity. Pegbovigrastim treatment reversed the negative association of Pre-NEFA concentration with neutrophil and monocyte counts, and tended to reverse the negative association of Pre-NEFA concentration with WBC counts.