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Vet. Res.
Volume 36, Number 2, March-April 2005
Page(s) 191 - 198
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2005) 191-198
Vet. Res. 36 (2005) 191-198
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2004063

Haptoglobin and serum amyloid A in milk from dairy cows with chronic sub-clinical mastitis

Ulrika Grönlunda, Charlotte Hallén Sandgrenb and Karin Persson Wallera, c

a  Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Comparative Reproduction, Obstetrics and Udder Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
b  Kalmar-Tjust Husdjur, Kalmar, Sweden
c  Department of Ruminant and Porcine Diseases, National Veterinary Institute, 75189 Uppsala, Sweden

(Received 18 May 2004; accepted 11 October 2004)

Abstract - New tools are needed to detect chronic sub-clinical mastitis, especially in automatic milking systems. Haptoglobin and serum amyloid A (SAA) are the two most sensitive bovine acute phase proteins, and their concentrations increase in milk from cows with clinical mastitis and in milk from cows with experimentally induced chronic sub-clinical Staphylococcus aureus mastitis. The aim of this study was to further evaluate the potential for haptoglobin and SAA in milk as indicators of chronic sub-clinical mastitis. Quarter milk samples were collected from 41 cows with a mean composite milk somatic cell count (CSCC) above 300 000 cells/mL during at least two months prior to sampling. Quarter milk samples were also taken from eleven cows with a mean CSCC below 80 000 cells/mL during at least two previous months. These samples were analysed for haptoglobin, SAA, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) activity and bacterial growth. The samples were grouped according to their ATP, haptoglobin and SAA status. ATP+ samples had ATP > 2 × 10-10 mol/mL, Hp+ and SAA+ samples had detectable levels of haptoglobin ( $\geq$ 0.3 mg/L) and SAA ( $\geq$ 0.9 mg/L), respectively. In udder quarter samples from healthy cows, 42 out of 44 samples belonged to the ATP-Hp-SAA- group. Among cows with chronic sub-clinical mastitis, the ATP+Hp+SAA+ group contained 66 out of 164 samples while 44 samples belonged to the ATP+Hp-SAA- group. Detectable levels of haptoglobin and SAA were found in 92 and 80 samples, respectively. Growth of udder pathogens was detected in 28 samples and Staphylococcus aureus was the most common bacteria. In conclusion, haptoglobin and SAA concentrations below the detection limit were considered as good indicators of healthy udder quarters. A substantial variation in haptoglobin and SAA concentrations in milk was observed in udder quarters with chronic sub-clinical mastitis.

Key words: serum amyloid A / haptoglobin / chronic / sub-clinical / mastitis

Corresponding author: Karin Persson Waller

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005