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Acute phase proteins in cattle after exposure to complex stress

S R Lomborg, L R Nielsen, P M H Heegaard, S Jacobsen
Veterinary Research Communications 2008, 32 (7): 575-82
Stressors such as weaning, mixing and transportation have been shown to lead to increased blood concentrations of acute phase proteins (APP), including serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin, in calves. This study was therefore undertaken to assess whether SAA and haptoglobin levels in blood mirror stress in adult cattle. Six clinically healthy Holstein cows and two Holstein heifers were transported for four to six hours to a research facility, where each animal was housed in solitary tie stalls. Blood samples for evaluation of leukocyte counts and serum SAA and haptoglobin concentrations were obtained before (0-sample) and at 8, 24 and 48 hours after the start of transportation. Upon arrival the animals gave the impression of being anxious, and they appeared to have difficulty coping with isolation and with being tied on the slippery floors of the research stable. Serum concentrations of SAA and haptoglobin increased significantly in response to the stressors (P < 0.01 and 0.05 at 48 hours, respectively). Additionally, the animals had transient neutrophilia at 8 and 24 hours (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the results of the study suggest that SAA and haptoglobin may serve as markers of stress in adult cattle.


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