The pharmacokinetics of a single dose of enrofloxacin administered orally, both pilled and in fish, and i.v. to African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) at 15 mg/kg were determined. Plasma concentrations of enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin were measured via high-pressure liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry. An i.v. administration of enrofloxacin resulted in an extrapolated mean plasma concentration of 7.86 μg/ml at time zero. Plasma volume of distribution for i.v. administration was 3.00 L/kg, with a mean elimination half-life of 13.67 hr and a mean total body clearance rate of 3.03 ml/min/kg. Oral administration of enrofloxacin achieved a mean maximum plasma concentration of 4.38 μg/ml at 4.8 hr after administration when pilled, whereas mean maximum plasma concentration was 4.77 μg/ml at 1.59 hr after administration when given in fish. Mean terminal elimination half-life was 13.79 hr pilled and 11.93 hr when given in fish. Low concentrations of ciprofloxacin were detected after both oral and i.v. enrofloxacin administration. Enrofloxacin administered to African penguins at 15 mg/kg p.o. q. 24 hr, whether in fish or pilled, is expected to achieve the surrogate markers of efficacy for bacteria with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 0.5 μg/ml or less; however, clinical studies are needed to determine efficacy.
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