Lactoferrin MonlabTest® is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of human Lactoferrin in faecal samples that may reflect intestinal inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Lactoferrin (Lf) is a glycoprotein that is produced by neutrophils, mononuclear phagocytes and epithelial cells and is contained in the secretory fluids such as saliva and breast milk. Its function is to block bacterial growth by limiting the availability of iron and this effect is enhanced by the presence of specific secretory IgA antibodies directed against bacteria. Lactoferrin also has a bactericidal effect by causing direct damage to cell membranes in cooperation with lysozyme. When inflammation develops in the gastrointestinal tract, neutrophils and phagocytic cells migrate to the inflammatory focus and release the granules containing Lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is stable in feces and is easily detected for immunochemical methods. This marker is elevated in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn disease (CD), represent a spectrum of diseases characterised by an idiopathic and chronic inflammation affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Pediatric and adult patients with IBD may present with a variety of clinical symptoms (including abdominal pain and diarrhea) that can be non-specific. The Lactoferrin MonlabTest® is a non-invasive assay used as a way to differentiate patients with inflammatory (invasive bacterial infection, IBD, etc.) from those with noninflammatory (viral, toxigenic, etc.) gastrointestinal illness.