The observation of reactive thrombocytosis in New Zealand white rabbits in response to experimental Pasteurella multocida infection

Randall P. Ruble, James S Cullor, Dale L. Brooks

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5 Scopus citations


Reactive thrombocytosis is an increase in the circulating thrombocyte count secondary to a physiologic process within the body, often an infection. Reactive thrombocytosis is different than primary or essential thrombocytosis which is usually related to myeloproliferative neoplasia. Essential thrombocytosis is most common in adults, whereas reactive thrombocytosis is most frequently observed in children. Reactive thrombocytosis has been occasionally reported in cats, dogs and horses but has not been previously reported in the rabbit. Rabbits were challenged with virulent Pasteurella multocida. Hematologic, clinical, and culture assessments were performed prior to challenge, enabling each animal to serve as its own control. The questions asked were whether reactive thrombocytosis was a consistent phenomena and whether its presence and/or intensity was related to disease severity. All challenged rabbits demonstrated some degree of thrombocytosis in response to the infection, but individual rabbits were varied in their pattern of thrombocytosis. Elevations varied from intense to mild to undulating with durations of 1 to 11 days above 500x109/L and 0 to 5 days above 650x109/L. Correlation analysis was unable to demonstrate significant association between thrombocytosis, body temperature, leukocyte count, or the granulocyte lymphocyte ratio (all r < 0.2). No significant association between intensity of thrombocytosis and degree or type of pathologic lesions was observed. Thrombocytosis does not appear predictive of disease intensity or outcome. The data indicate that in the rabbit thrombocytosis is a consistent response to infection with P. multocida. Rabbits may serve as a model for the study of reactive thrombocytosis, in humans especially in children infected with Haemophilus sp., which are also a members of the bacterial family Pasteurellaceae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalBlood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Animal model
  • Pasteurella multocida
  • Platelets
  • Rabbits
  • Reactive thrombocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Hematology


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