Understanding Inflammation

Why Check for Inflammatory Status?

Monitoring inflammatory status can be important in many situations, either as part of a routine health check, where there is suspicion of an infection, monitoring recovery after administration of antibiotics or steroids, pre-operative health checks, and particularly, in assessing health status prior to an sports event; many conditions can be subclinical, so there are no obvious signs there is a problem. Where there is inflammation, muscle generation can be compromised, and in the horse, this will impact on potential performance. EquiChek™-SAA Serum Amyloid A rapid assay provides a rapid and simple way to find out if there is a problem caused by some underlying inflammatory condition, be it infection or musculo-skeletal.

The presence of an inflammatory condition can also have severe implications on successful outcomes of breeding; mares with an active inflammatory condition prior to breeding have a significantly higher chance of early embryonic loss while mares experiencing an inflammatory condition after breeding can also have problems. Why wait for a result to come back from a lab when you can run right where it matters, beside the horse. EquiChek™-SAA Serum Amyloid A can help you do this.

Because symptoms are an unreliable indicator of health status, practitioners should test horses periodically. Given the ease and affordability of the EquiChek™ SAA test, testing all horses on a regular schedule is a practical option for early detection of an inflammatory condition. EquiChek™ SAA is an important part in a veterinarian’s health screening for any horse.


Why Use Serum Amyloid A?

Any stimulus which causes inflammation has the potential to affect the health, welfare or performance of a horse. In most species, and in particular the horse, the acute phase protein Serum Amyloid A (SAA) is a very sensitive indicator of inflammation, rising within hours of the onset of a problem, but also falling rapidly with resolution of the problem. SAA increases from very low levels up to 1000 fold above normal during an inflammatory condition, including very early stage infection and critically, in the absence of or before clinical signs are manifest. For this reason it is a very useful indicator of sub-clinical health status and gives an indication of the current immune status where an underlying problem exists. SAA is therefore an ideal biomarker for use in any situation where a quick and rapid result is needed to check for health status.

While some equine reference labs now offer SAA as part of their health screen, SAA testing is still not widely available to vets due to the requirement for expensive laboratory equipment. Accuplex Diagnostics have now introduced a new test that will enable SAA testing to be rapidly and conveniently run by any vet, anywhere, any time.