Serum amyloid A protein (SAA) in horses: objective measurement of the acute phase response



A sensitive and precise immunoassay for equine serum amyloid A protein (SAA) was established and used to determine, for the first time, the circulating concentration of this protein in health and disease. As in other species, equine SAA was present only at trace levels in healthy animals but behaved as an extremely sensitive and rapidly responding acute phase reactant following most forms of tissue injury, infection and inflammation, objectively reflecting the extent and activity of disease. Measurements of SAA should make a significant contribution to diagnosis and management of viral and bacterial infection in horses, and routine serial assays could provide an objective criterion for monitoring prospectively the general health of horses in training and racing.