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Title: Faecal calprotectin as a marker of gastrointestinal inflammation in infants and children
Author: Bunn, S. K.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis investigates the faecal excretion of calprotectin in children in both health and disease. Calprotectin is a 36.5 kDa calcium binding protein with baeteriostatic properties predominantly expressed in neutrophils and activated macrophages. It accounts for 5% of total protein and 60% of the protein in the cytosol fraction in the neutrophil. Calprotectin is stable in faeces for up to 7 days at room temperature and it has been suggested that it’s faecal concentration represents neutrophil migration into the gastrointestinal lumen. Faecal calprotectin concentration has been shown in adult inflammatory bowel disease to be an accurate non-invasive measure of gastrointestinal inflammation. This thesis examines the faecal excretion of calprotectin in healthy children and shows that though infants have higher faecal calprotectin concentrations, children over the age of two years have values identical to that found in healthy adult controls. In the first year of life, faecal calprotectin is affected by the infant’s age and by their milk feeding type, with breast fed infants having lower values than formula fed infants. I put forward the hypothesis that faecal calprotectin in the first year of life is a measure of physiological gastrointestinal inflammation, a prerequisite for the development of oral tolerance and intestinal growth and maturation, and that it is this physiological inflammation that is reduced by components in breast milk. By comparison with clinical indices and gold standard measures, I demonstrate that faecal calprotectin has potential as a non-invasive marker of bowel inflammation in childhood inflammatory bowel disease and of intestinal allograft acute cellular rejection (ACR) after small bowel transplantation. However, the clinical application of faecal calprotectin in these conditions is limited by the finding that it is also increased in viral and bacterial gastroenteritis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available