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BACKGROUND. The incidence of bacterial sepsis during the neonatal period is high. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), L-ficolin, and H-ficolin recognize microorganisms and activate the complement system via MBL-associated serine proteases (MASPs). This study investigated whether cord blood concentrations of the lectin pathway proteins are associated with neonatal sepsis. METHODS. This was a case-control study including 47 infants with culture-proven sepsis during the first month of life and 94 matched controls. MBL, L-ficolin, H-ficolin, MASP-2, and MASP-3 levels were measured in cord blood with use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and time-resolved immunofluorometric assay. Multivariate logistic regression was performed. RESULTS. Infants with gram-positive sepsis had significantly lower H-ficolin cord blood concentrations than controls (multivariate odds ratio [OR], 4.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51-10.56; [Formula: see text]), whereas infants with gram-negative sepsis had lower MBL cord blood concentrations (OR, 2.99; 95% CI, 0.86-10.33; [Formula: see text]). When excluding patients with postoperative sepsis, multivariate analysis confirmed that low H-ficolin was associated with a significantly higher risk of gram-positive sepsis (OR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.26-10.92; [Formula: see text]) and late-onset sepsis (OR, 3.14; 95% CI, 1.07-9.21; [Formula: see text]). In contrast, low MBL was associated with a significantly higher risk of gram-negative sepsis (OR, 4.39; 95% CI, 1.10-17.45; [Formula: see text]) and early-onset sepsis (OR, 3.87; 95% CI, 1.05-14.29; [Formula: see text]). The concentrations of all the lectin pathway proteins increased with gestational age ([Formula: see text]). CONCLUSIONS. These preliminary results indicate that low MBL concentrations are a susceptibility factor for gram-negative sepsis, and low H-ficolin concentrations indicate susceptibility to gram-positive sepsis. The decreased expression of lectin pathway proteins in neonates must be considered to be an additional form of neonatal immunodeficiency.
Departments of Pediatrics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. email@example.com
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
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