Elevated serum amyloid A levels in cases of aborted equine fetuses due to fetal and placental infections

Erdal Erol, Carney Jackson, David Horohov, Stephan Locke, Jacqueline Smith, Craig Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Determination of fetal serum amyloid A (SAA) concentrations in aborted fetuses can provide valuable information regarding the infectious and/or inflammatory process of abortion in horses. To investigate the relationship between fetal SAA levels and the infectious/inflammatory disease process in feto-placental tissues, a SAA ELISA was used to test heart serum samples of 89 equine fetuses that were necropsied and diagnosed in the following groups: a multiorgan disease process diagnosed with an identified microorganism (14 cases, group 1); only placentitis diagnosed with an identified microorganism (nine cases, group 2); only placentitis diagnosed with no microorganism identified (six cases, group 3); and no infectious or inflammatory disease process diagnosed (60 cases, group 4). Serum amyloid A concentrations in equine fetuses were elevated from 10.5 to ≥40 mg/L in 10 of 14 cases in group 1; and from less than 2.5 mg/L to greater than 40 mg/L in seven of nine cases in group 2. In group 3, SAA concentrations were found to be less than 2.5 mg/L in five of six cases. In group 4, SAA concentrations were less than 2.5 mg/L in 55 cases, whereas in five cases SAA concentrations were elevated. Statistical significant differences were found between the concentrations of SAA in fetal horse blood and the presence of infectious and/or inflammatory disease process in the feto-placental tissues when a causative microorganism was identified. These results suggest that testing SAA concentrations in fetal heart blood may aid in further understanding the causes of abortions in horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-975
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016


  • Abortion
  • Fetus
  • Horse
  • Serum amyloid A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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