2022 journal article
PHARMACOKINETICS OF RECTALLY AND ORALLY ADMINISTERED LEVOFLOXACIN IN ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS)
JOURNAL OF ZOO AND WILDLIFE MEDICINE, 53(4), 670–678.
Appropriate and effective antibiotic use is a critical component of veterinary medicine, but there are variations across species regarding dosage and administration of these drugs. Oral or rectal routes of administration are typically used in elephants, but not all medications can achieve adequate concentrations rectally. The fluoroquinolone antimicrobials are used in elephants because of their favorable antimicrobial spectrum and pharmacokinetics compared with other oral agents. They are commonly used as part of multiple antibiotic regimens for the treatment of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). The objective of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetic profile of levofloxacin after oral and rectal administration in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Dosages of 5 mg/kg orally and 15 mg/kg rectally were evaluated in 13 Asian elephants. Blood was collected at various time points from 0 to 72 h for pharmacokinetic analysis. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined and reached concentrations above minimum inhibitory concentrations of various bacterial organisms via both routes. A pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic assessment was used to estimate appropriate minimal inhibitory concentrations for bacteria that could be potentially treated with this antimicrobial. Based on these findings, levofloxacin may be a consideration for administration orally (5 mg/kg) and rectally (15 mg/kg) in Asian elephants. Antimicrobial stewardship principles, culture and susceptibility of suspected pathogens, and blood level monitoring should be used to tailor administration of levofloxacin in this species.