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High faecal calprotectin concentrations in newborn infants
  1. F Campeotto1,
  2. M J Butel2,
  3. N Kalach1,3,
  4. S Derrieux1,
  5. C Aubert-Jacquin5,
  6. L Barbot4,
  7. C Francoual1,
  8. C Dupont1,
  9. N Kapel4
  1. 1Service de Néonatologie, Hôpital Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, 82 Avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75674 Paris Cedex 14, France
  2. 2Service de Microbiologie, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Paris V, 4 Avenue de l’Observatoire, 75006 Paris
  3. 3Service de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Saint Antoine, Université Catholique, 329 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 5900 Lille, France
  4. 4Service de Coprologie Fonctionnelle, Hôpital Pitié-Salpétrière, 47-83 Boulevard de l’Hôpital 75651 Paris Cedex 13
  5. 5Société Blédina SA, 383 rue Philippe Héron, BP 432, 69654 Villefranche sur Saône, France
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Campeotto
    Service de Néonatologie, Hôpital Cochin-Saint Vincent de Paul, 82, Avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75674 Paris Cedex 14, France;


Background: Calprotectin, a major component of soluble cytosolic proteins in human neutrophil granulocytes, is excreted in excess in stools during inflammatory bowel disease in adults and children. Faecal calprotectin concentrations are also higher during the first year of life than in adults.

Objectives: To measure faecal calprotectin concentrations in the neonatal period and define reference values according to the mode of feeding: standard infant formula, prebiotic infant formula (Calisma, Blédina SA, France), or breast feeding.

Patients and methods: A prospective study was carried out over three months in 69 full term, healthy newborns with a median gestational age of 39.8 weeks (range 37–41.5) and a birth weight of 3300 g (range 2600–4460). Three groups were formed depending on the mode of feeding: group 1 (n  =  18) received a standard infant formula, group 2 (n  =  19) the prebiotic infant formula, and group 3 (n  =  32) was breast fed. One stool sample was taken from each newborn on day 4 (3–7), and faecal calprotectin analysed using a commercial enzyme linked immunoassay (Calprest, Eurospital, Italy).

Results: Faecal calprotectin concentrations (median 167 µg/g) were higher than reference values in healthy adults. The concentration was below the upper reference limit for adults (50 µg/g) for three infants only, one fed the standard formula and two fed the prebiotic formula. Concentrations did not differ significantly according to method of feeding.

Conclusions: Compared with healthy adults, newborns have high calprotectin concentrations in the first days of life. There is no obvious influence of the mode of feeding.

  • calprotectin
  • faeces
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • immune system

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