The acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) has been previously shown to have value as a biomarker of inflammation and infection in many species, including manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). In the current study, results from an automated assay for SAA were used in a rehabilitation setting. Reference intervals were established from clinically normal manatees using the robust method: 0–46 mg/L. More than 30-fold higher mean SAA levels were observed in manatees suffering from cold stress and boat-related trauma. Poor correlations were observed between SAA and total white blood count, percentage of neutrophils, albumin, and albumin/globulin ratio. A moderate correlation was observed between SAA and the presence of nucleated red blood cells. The sensitivity of SAA testing was 93% and the specificity was 98%, representing the highest combined values of all the analytes. The results indicate that the automated method for SAA quantitation can provide important clinical data for manatees in a rehabilitation setting.
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