Hematologic characteristics of captive western barred bandicoots (Perameles bougainville) from Western Australia

Mark D. Bennett*, Lucy Woolford, Amanda J. O'Hara, Philip K. Nicholls, Kristin S. Warren, K. Lisa Hulme-Moir, Phillip Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville) is an Australian marsupial species now considered endangered as a consequence of habitat destruction and predation. A recently discovered papillomatosis syndrome is hindering efforts to repopulate this species. Hematology reference intervals have been lacking for P bougainville, preventing optimal interpretation of hematology results from wart-affected and clinically normal animals. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to establish hematology reference values and describe morphologic characteristics of blood cells of healthy western barred bandicoots. Methods: Fifty-nine whole blood samples were collected by jugular venipuncture into EDTA from 47 clinically healthy captive western barred bandicoots at 3 locations on the Western Australian mainland. A CBC was performed using an ADVIA-120 analyzer. Data were compared on the basis of geographic location, sex, age, and lactation status, and reference intervals were calculated. Blood cell morphology was evaluated using light microscopy, and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Results: Significant differences were found based on sex (RBC indices, fibrinogen), age (% polychromatophilic RBCs), and geographic location (RBC, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts, MCHC, % polychromatophilic RBCs, fibrinogen). Combined reference intervals were calculated for hemoglobin concentration (122-165 g/L), HCT (0.36-0.49 L/L), and total WBC (2.9-14.9 × 109/L), monocyte (0-0.6 × 10 9/L), eosinophil (0-0.9 × 109/L), and total plasma protein (47-63 g/L) concentrations. Leukocyte, erythrocyte, and platelet morphology were similar to those of other marsupial peramelid species. Nuclei in neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils occasionally had an annular configuration. Conclusions: Reference intervals and blood cell morphology obtained in this study will be useful for the evaluation of laboratory data from ill animals and assist with population health monitoring of western barred bandicoots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-353
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Hematology
  • Marsupial
  • Peramelidae
  • Reference interval
  • Ultrastructure

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