The concentrations of haptoglobin (Hp) and serum amyloid A (SAA) and the activity of N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase) in milk from 234 cows with spontaneous mastitis caused by different pathogens were measured to assess whether they corresponded with the clinical signs of mastitis and whether there were any differences between pathogens. Ninety-eight of the cows had clinical mastitis and 136 had subclinical mastitis. There were statistically significant positive correlations between the concentrations of SAA and Hp and the activity of NAGase. Significant differences in the concentrations of acute phase proteins and NAGase activity were found in milk from cows with mastitis caused by different pathogens. The highest concentrations of Hp and NAGase were found in cases of mastitis caused by Escherichia coli and Arcanobacterium pyogenes, and the lowest concentrations were from cases of mastitis caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci. Very low SAA concentrations were found in milk from the cases caused by A pyogenes, in contrast to cases caused by other major mastitis pathogens. The median concentration of SAA was over 10 times higher in cases of mastitis caused by E coli than in mastitis caused by other pathogens. There were significant differences in the mean Hp concentration and NAGase activity between clinical and subclinical mastitis. In approximately one-third of the samples, the Hp concentration was below the detection limit, potentially compromising the use of Hp as a mastitis marker.
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