In zoological medicine, platelet characterization and evaluation of coagulation parameters, such as thromboelastography, are of vital importance when treating hemostatic disorders, including elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus-hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD).2,5 Evaluations often rely on transport of platelets to specialty laboratories; however, platelets are difficult to transport, as iatrogenic activation of platelets can hinder evaluation. In pursuit of generating a platelet product to target treatment of EEHV-HD, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) platelet characterization was performed on nine individuals. Whole blood was collected into ACD-A tubes and transferred in a Credo-style platelet transport system for transfer to a testing laboratory. Variables in the study included time from collection until analysis, ranging from 24 to 48 hours, and method of transport, either via routine courier or hand courier. Temperature was measured during transport and did not vary significantly, staying within acceptable ranges for cellular stability. No significant differences were observed in platelet counts, with an average of 305x103/µL platelets recovered, within previously reported ranges for Asian elephants.1,3,4 The platelets were viable for evaluation via aggregometry, thromboelastography, and flow cytometry. While platelets are often activated when handled, this method of transport did not appear to hinder evaluation of Asian elephant platelets, allowing for physical and bioactive characterization. Asian elephant platelets feature reversible aggregation, which may have played a role in their stability during transport, a factor to consider when submitting whole blood samples for analysis to specialty laboratories.
The authors would like to thank the member zoos for their collaboration, and the International Elephant Foundation for their support of this work.
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