An automated method for the estimation of the acute phase protein haptoglobin was developed and used to compare the blood haptoglobin concentrations of 42 sheep examined post mortem with other haematological findings in infectious and non-infectious conditions. Haptoglobin was also assayed in 863 sheep from nine apparently normal flocks; of these sheep seven per cent had significantly raised haptoglobin levels. The studies showed that haptoglobin was useful as a marker for the presence of bacterial infection in sheep, and was more sensitive, specific and efficient and less likely to give false positive and negative results than a haematological examination.
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