The concentrations of the two acute phase proteins, serum amyloid A and haptoglobin, in serum and milk were compared in 10 cows with clinical mastitis, 11 cows with extramammary inflammatory conditions and 10 clinically healthy control cows. The concentrations of both acute phase proteins were higher in the serum and milk of the cows with mastitis than in the cows in the other two groups. Four of the cows with extramammary inflammatory conditions had serum amyloid A concentrations in serum above 100 pg/ml, but negligible concentrations in milk, indicating that a pathogen must be present in the mammary gland for serum amyloid A to accumulate in milk. The acute phase protein concentrations in milk increased significantly with increasing somatic cell count, suggesting that they may be indicators of the severity of an infection.
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