Background: Despite significant advances in neonatal care, neonatal sepsis remains a major contributor to mortality, morbidity, and protracted hospitalization. The development of early possible diagnostic indicators for newborn sepsis is critical. Since calprotectin participates in major biological processes, it could be a diagnostic marker for infection/inflammation. This study aimed to estimate serum calprotectin in neonates with clinical sepsis. In addition, we compared serum calprotectin with standard sepsis markers and serum procalcitonin to evaluate its diagnostic accuracy. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional diagnostic study of neonates identified with clinical sepsis using standard criteria was carried out. We compared estimated serum calprotectin levels to serum procalcitonin levels and conventional sepsis markers (leucocyte count, blood culture, immature to total neutrophil ratio, and C- reactive protein). We used SPSS version 25 to analyze the data. To examine diagnostic accuracy and determine a cut-off value for serum calprotectin, we used the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve. Results: Of the 83 subjects included, 36.5% (30/83) had blood culture positive status, the median value of serum calprotectin being 0.93 ng/ml (0.67 to 1.3). Respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal instabilities were present in 67.5% (56/83), 59% (49/83), and 50.1% (42/83) cases, respectively. The presence of positive and negative blood cultures did not significantly affect sepsis parameters (p=0.09). On ROC, calprotectin was not predictive for blood culture positivity (sensitivity: 50%; specificity: 44% at 0.83 ng/ml of serum calprotectin) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (sensitivity: 57%; specificity: 67% at serum calprotectin levels of 0.89 ng/ml). However, compared with serum procalcitonin, serum calprotectin at 1.2 ng/ml had sensitivity and specificity of 60% and 73%, respectively.  Conclusions: Serum calprotectin did not show a distinct advantage over the existing sepsis markers. Serum calprotectin level at 1.2 ng/ml had a sensitivity and specificity of 60% and 73%, respectively, compared to serum procalcitonin in detecting neonatal sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number626
Pages (from-to)626
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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