Pegbovigrastim is a long-acting analog of recombinant bovine granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, that promotes and increases the count and functionality of polymorphonuclear cells in dairy cows. The present study aimed to explore, for the first time in Simmental cows, the clinical and hematological effect of pegbovigrastim during the transition period (TP). Cows were randomly assigned into two groups: treated group (PEG; n = 16) received pegbovigrastim at approximately 7 days before expected parturition and within 6 h after calving, and control group (CTR; n = 16) received saline solution. Blood samples were obtained at -7, 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 30 days relative to calving. PEG group showed white blood cells (WBC) count consistently higher compared with CTR group (p < 0.001) until to 3 weeks after calving. Neutrophils remained higher in PEG group (p < 0.001) up to three weeks after calving, compared with CTR group, with slight increment of band cells. Moreover, PEG group displayed a lower index of myeloperoxidase at 3, and 7 days after calving (p < 0.01) compared with CTR. Basophils and lymphocytes showed a similar trend to those observed for neutrophils at 1 day after calving in PEG group. Finally, monocytes remained markedly elevated until 3 days after calving in PEG compared to CTR group (p < 0.001), whereas in PEG group, eosinophils population showed lower percentage values at 1 and 3 days after calving but higher values at 30 days compared with CTR group. PEG group was characterized by lower red blood cells (RBCs) count compared with CTR group (p < 0.05) and higher% of red cell volume distribution width (RDW) from week 2 and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) at 30 days after calving. In addition, the mean platelet volume (MPV) was significantly higher in PEG group at calving, 3, and 7 days after calving compared with CTR group (p < 0.05). For the first time, we described the effect of pegbovigrastim in a breed not specialized exclusively in milk production as Holstein, but with dual purpose (meat and milk), evaluating the complete hematological profile in cows during the transition period. These results provide evidence on the proliferative effect of pegbovigrastim on WBC in Simmental breed highlighting its possible side effect on RBCs.
- Transition period