Skip Navigation LinksHome > October 2013 - Volume 14 - Issue 8 > Association of Human Beta-Defensin-2 Serum Levels and Sepsis...
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e3182975e0f
Neonatal Intensive Care

Association of Human Beta-Defensin-2 Serum Levels and Sepsis in Preterm Neonates*

Olbrich, Peter MD1; Pavón, Antonio MD, PhD2; Rosso, Maria Luisa MD, PhD2; Molinos, Agueda MD3; de Felipe, Beatriz PhD1; Sanchez, Berta PhD4; Praena-Fernández, Juan Manuel5; Jimenez, Francisco MD, PhD2; Obando, Ignacio MD, PhD1; Neth, Olaf MD, PhD1

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Abstract

Objectives: To determine human beta-defensin-2 levels in term and preterm neonates at birth and to evaluate its impact on sepsis.

Design: Observational study.

Setting: Single tertiary care hospital.

Patients: Term neonates and preterm neonates were recruited and divided in groups according to important clinical events.

Interventions: Cord blood samples were drawn from all newborns immediately after birth. Human beta-defensin-2 levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technology. All neonates were followed clinically during the first 30 days of life.

Measurements and Main Results: Forty-two term and 31 preterm neonates were enrolled. Human beta-defensin-2 levels in term neonates were higher compared with preterm infants (median, 1,882 vs 918 pg/mL; p = 0.003) and correlated with gestational age and birth weight. Of 31 preterm neonates, seven suffered from late-onset sepsis, and this was associated with lower human beta-defensin-2 levels (median, 513 vs 1,411 pg/mL; p = 0.006).

Conclusion: Preterm neonates show lower human beta-defensin-2 levels in cord blood compared with term neonates. Low human beta-defensin-2 levels in preterm neonates might be associated with an increased risk of late-onset sepsis.

©2013The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies

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