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Clin Dev Immunol. 2011;2011:291085. doi: 10.1155/2011/291085. Epub 2011 May 30.

Serum calprotectin: an antimicrobial peptide as a new marker for the diagnosis of sepsis in very low birth weight newborns.

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Department of Women Health and Territorial Medicine, University of Rome "La Sapienza", 00185 Rome, Italy.


To determine the diagnostic utility of serum calprotectin, a mediator of innate immune response against infections, we performed a multicenter study involving newborns with a birth weight < 1500 g and a postnatal age >72 hours of life. The diagnostic accuracy of serum calprotectin was compared with that of the most commonly used markers of neonatal sepsis (white blood cell count, immature-to-total-neutrophil ratio, platelet count, and C-reactive protein). We found that the serum calprotectin concentration was significantly higher (P < .001) in 62 newborns with confirmed sepsis (3.1 ± 1.0  μg/mL) than in either 29 noninfected subjects (1.1 ± 0.3 μg/ml) or 110 healthy controls (0.91 ± 0.58 μg/ml). The diagnostic accuracy of serum calprotectin was greater (sensitivity 89%, specificity 96%) than that of the traditional markers of sepsis. In conclusion, serum calprotectin is an accurate marker of sepsis in very low birth weight newborns.

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