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Mol Immunol. 2009 Aug;46(13):2597-603. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

M-ficolin in the neonatal period: Associations with need for mechanical ventilation and mortality in premature infants with necrotising enterocolitis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland. luregn.schlapbach@insel.ch

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) causes significant mortality in premature infants. The involvement of the innate immune system in the pathogenesis of NEC remains unclear. M-, L- and H-ficolins recognize microorganisms and activate the complement system, but their role in host defense is largely unknown. This study investigated whether ficolin concentrations are associated with NEC.

STUDY DESIGN:

Case-control study including 30 premature infants with NEC and 60 controls. M-, L- and H-ficolins were measured in cord blood using time-resolved immunofluorometric assays. Multivariate logistic regression was performed.

RESULTS:

Of the 30 NEC cases (median gestational age, 29.5 weeks), 12 (40%) were operated and 4 (13%) died. No difference regarding ficolin concentration was found when comparing NEC cases versus controls (p>0.05). However, infants who died of NEC had significantly lower M-ficolin cord blood concentrations than NEC survivors (for M-ficolin <300ng/ml; multivariate OR 12.35, CI 1.03-148.59, p=0.048). In the entire study population, M-, L- and H-ficolins were positively correlated with gestational age (p<0.001) and birth weight (p<0.001). Infants with low M-ficolin required significantly more often mechanical ventilation after birth multivariate (OR 10.55, CI 2.01-55.34, p=0.005).

CONCLUSIONS:

M-, L- and H-ficolins are already present in cord blood and increase with gestational age. Low cord blood concentration of M-ficolin was associated with higher NEC-associated fatality and with increased need for mechanical ventilation. Future studies need to assess whether M-ficolin is involved in multiorgan failure and pulmonary disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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