News : 2014 : April

New Publication on Equine Haptoglobin

A new publication on the quantitation and applications of haptoglobin testing in equines can be found in the recent issue of Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (34(2):337-340, 2014). This study was completed by Drs. Carolyn Cray and Rodney Belgrave. Samples from 76 clincially normal and abnormal horses were examined for haptoglobin levels. A 3.3-fold statistically significant difference was observed between these groups (p<0.05).

A weak correlation was found between total WBC count and haptoglobin which is again illustrative of the different sensitivity of these tests for inflammatory processes. In fact, the mean value for the clinically abnormal group was 9200 cells/ul – well within normal intervals for this species.

Additional analysis was conducted relative to the time course of haptoglobin expression. A significantly higher level of HP expression was observed in samples from patients whose clinical signs lasted for 7 or more days vs. those samples which were obtained from horses whose clinical signs were present for 4 days or less. This finding illustrates the timeline of haptoglobin expression. Whereas serum amyloid A expression increases rapidly after insult, haptoglobin expression occurs 5-7 days later. This differential expression can be used to better define acute vs. chronic inflammatory processes.