Effect of bovine lactoferrin on the immune responses of captive bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) being transported over long distances

Vet Rec. 2006 Dec 23-30;159(26):885-8.


Bovine lactoferrin was administered orally, in feed, to six bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) before they were transported for approximately six hours; their stress responses were compared with those of five untreated dolphins. During the journey the dolphins had an increased plasma concentration of cortisol, and lymphopenia, eosinopenia and mild neutrophilia, indicating a stress response. The administration of lactoferrin did not affect the function of the dolphins' polymorphonuclear leucocytes, but affected their leucogram by maintaining the number of circulating eosinophils.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo
  • Bottle-Nosed Dolphin / blood*
  • Bottle-Nosed Dolphin / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Lactoferrin / administration & dosage
  • Lactoferrin / pharmacology*
  • Leukocyte Count / veterinary
  • Lymphocyte Count / veterinary
  • Random Allocation
  • Stress, Physiological / blood
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy
  • Stress, Physiological / veterinary*
  • Transportation


  • Lactoferrin
  • Hydrocortisone