Pharmacokinetics and Efficacy of a Single Oral Dose of Ponazuril in the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2019
Stephanie H. Zec1, DVM; Mark G. Papich2, DVM, MS; David A. Oehler1,4; Kevin Hils1; Susan Schmid1; Ken Huth1; S. Seville3, PhD; Jean A. Paré1, DMV, DVSc, DACZM, DECZM (Zoo Health Management)

1Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY, USA; 2Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA; 3Department of Zoology and Physiology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming, Casper, WY, USA; 4Nashville Zoo, Nashville, TN, USA


Apicomplexan protozoa are major causes of morbidity and mortality in avian species. Ponazuril, a novel coccidiocidal triazinetrione, has shown promise in addressing apicomplexan diseases in mammals and birds.1,5,10 Optimal dosage and dosing intervals in birds remain unknown, and current protocols are extrapolated from studies in mammals.1,6 This study describes the pharmacokinetics of ponazuril in healthy adult Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) following a single oral dose administered at two different dosages. Peafowl (four males and four females) were administered ponazuril (Ponazuril, 150 mg/ml, Diamondback Drugs, Scottsdale, AZ, USA) at 20 or 40 mg/kg orally in a double crossover design, with a 2-wk washout period. Coccidial shedding was monitored by serial fecal examination throughout the trials. Serum was collected at 2, 4, 8, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h after administration. Ponazuril serum levels were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography. No obvious adverse effects were observed at either dosage, and fecal oocyst shedding subsided in all birds by the end of the study. Ponazuril concentrations peaked at 21.38 h±5.25 for 20 mg/kg and 22.04 h±7.39 for 40 mg/kg with a concentration of 11.82 µg/ml±3.01 for 20 mg/kg and 18.42 µg/ml±4.13 for 40 mg/kg. Ponazuril was detected at 120 h with a concentration of 9.48 µg/ml±2.59 for 20 mg/kg and 12.25 µg/ml±2.89 for 40 mg/kg. Ponazuril in peafowl is well absorbed orally, concentrations are dose-dependent, and elimination is slower than current dosages for birds would suggest.3


The authors thank the Zoological Health Program Veterinary Technician at the Bronx Zoo’s Wildlife Health Center for their assistance in performing diagnostics.

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Speaker Information
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Stephanie H. Zec, DVM
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bronx Zoo
Bronx, NY, USA

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