• Screening for cystic fibrosis (CF) in newborns is desirable, and efforts should continue in establishing a system of easily available, reliable, simple, and inexpensive tests. In addition to the Boehringer-Mannheim (BM) test for the detection of albumin, we propose the assay for lactase and β-D-fucosidase in meconium. These latter two enzymes are present in the meconium of babies with CF and absent in meconium of most healthy babies. In a mass screening program for CF involving 20,182 specimens of meconium using only the BM strip, we found 46 positive results. Twenty-nine specimens came from infants with CF, six of whom had meconium ileus. Seventeen specimens yielded false-positive results by the BM test. Eleven of these would have been excluded by the addition of the lactase and β-D-fucosidase assay, thus reducing the false-positive test results by nearly 61%. In a comparative study of the three methods, the lactase and β-D-fucosidase yielded 1.2% false-positives when examined independently. Performance of these two assays may allow greater specificity in diagnosis when used in addition to the BM test.
(Am J Dis Child 132:1112-1114, 1978)
Shwachman H, Antonowicz I, Mahmoodian A, Ishida S. Studies in Meconium: An Approach to Screening Tests To Detect Cystic Fibrosis. Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(11):1112–1114. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120360068012
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