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March 1959

Lysozyme Levels in Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Clinical Laboratories, the Department of Medicine, and The Children's Cancer Research Foundation, The Children's Medical Center, and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(3):303-307. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010305007

The significance of lysozyme in various body fluids has been discussed in several reviews.1-3 In general, it is held that lysozyme, as it appears in tears and saliva, exerts a protective influence against bacterial invasion if present in an adequate concentration. Lysozyme exerts its protective effect by hydrolyzing certain structural polysaccharides in the bacterial cell wall, thus causing the dissolution of many bacteria, particularly cocci. Granulocytes4 also contain "lysozyme-like" enzymes which are released when the cells are injured.5-7 In areas where there has been a leukocytic proliferation due either to infection or irritation, relatively high levels of lysozyme may be observed.4,8

The study of the lysozyme activity of various body fluids from patients with cystic fibrosis was considered to be of interest in view of the almost constant development of chronic pulmonary suppuration in this disease. Abnormally high lysozyme levels were observed in the duodenal fluids

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