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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1999 May;68(2-4):267-81.

A non-competitive chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay for the equine acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) -- a clinically useful inflammatory marker in the horse.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala.


A non-competitive chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay for measuring serum amyloid A (SAA) in equine serum was developed. A polyclonal anti-equine-amyloid A antiserum specific for equine SAA was utilized, and the assay was standardized using highly purified equine SAA. An acute phase horse serum was calibrated against the purified SAA and was used as standard when running the assay. Serum SAA concentrations in the range of 3-1210 mg/l could be measured. The reference range of SAA in clinically healthy adult horses was <7 mg/l. The clinical validation of the assay comprised the SAA responses after surgery and experimentally induced aseptic arthritis, and those associated with viral and bacterial infections. The SAA response after surgery (castration) was consistent, with peak concentrations on day 2 and a return to normal SAA concentrations within eight days. The aseptic arthritis produced an SAA response with a pattern similar to that seen after surgery, with peak concentrations of SAA 36-48 h after induction. Seven horses showed a biphasic pattern, with a second rise in SAA concentrations on day 4 and 5. All animals had SAA levels <7 mg/l on day 15. All horses with viral and bacterial infections had SAA concentrations above 7 mg/l. The ranges of SAA concentrations following the different types of inflammation overlap, being consistent with the unspecific nature of the SAA response. This study revealed that SAA is a sensitive and unspecific marker for inflammation, and describes the dynamics of the SAA response after standardized and well defined tissue damage.

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