H-ficolin serum concentration and susceptibility to fever and neutropenia in paediatric cancer patients

Schlapbach, L J; Aebi, C; Hansen, A G; Hirt, A; Jensenius, J C; Ammann, R A (2009). H-ficolin serum concentration and susceptibility to fever and neutropenia in paediatric cancer patients. Clinical and experimental immunology, 157(1), pp. 83-9. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2009.03957.x

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H-ficolin (Hakata antigen, ficolin-3) activates the lectin pathway of complement similar to mannose-binding lectin. However, its impact on susceptibility to infection is currently unknown. This study investigated whether the serum concentration of H-ficolin at diagnosis is associated with fever and neutropenia (FN) in paediatric cancer patients. H-ficolin was measured by time-resolved immunofluorometric assay in serum taken at cancer diagnosis from 94 children treated with chemotherapy. The association of FN episodes with H-ficolin serum concentration was analysed by multivariate Poisson regression. Median concentration of H-ficolin in serum was 26 mg/l (range 6-83). Seven (7%) children had low H-ficolin (< 14 mg/l). During a cumulative chemotherapy exposure time of 82 years, 177 FN episodes were recorded, 35 (20%) of them with bacteraemia. Children with low H-ficolin had a significantly increased risk to develop FN [relative risk (RR) 2.24; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.38-3.65; P = 0.004], resulting in prolonged duration of hospitalization and of intravenous anti-microbial therapy. Bacteraemia occurred more frequently in children with low H-ficolin (RR 2.82; CI 1.02-7.76; P = 0.045). In conclusion, low concentration of H-ficolin was associated with an increased risk of FN, particularly FN with bacteraemia, in children treated with chemotherapy for cancer. Low H-ficolin thus represents a novel risk factor for chemotherapy-related infections.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Schlapbach, Luregn Jan, Aebi, Christoph, Hirt, Andreas, Ammann, Roland




Blackwell Scientific Publications




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:22

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/31794 (FactScience: 196475)

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