Free secretory component as a standardization protein for nasopharyngeal specimens from children with upper respiratory tract infection

T. Heikkinen, M. Shenoy, R. M. Goldblum, T. Chonmaitree

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4 Scopus citations


Free secretory component (FSC) has been recommended as a reliable protein for correction of the unknown dilution in tracheal aspirate samples from preterm infants. To investigate whether FSC would also provide a valid standardization protein for samples of nasopharyngeal secretions, this study determined the intersubject variation and the alteration over time in the concentrations of FSC in nasal secretions from 35 children (median age 14 months) who participated in an antibiotic efficacy trial. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were obtained at enrolment and after 2-3 d. FSC in the specimens was quantified by a direct enzyme immunoassay. The concentrations of FSC in the nasal secretions ranged from 0.08 to 189.6 μg ml-1 (median 12.3 μg ml-1); the ratio of the highest to the lowest concentrations was 2370, the difference between the 90th and 10th percentile concentrations was 189-fold and the difference between the 75th and 25th percentile values was 26. FSC concentrations were significantly lower in children aged ≤12 months (median 2.2 μg ml-1) than in the older children (median 21.5 μg ml-1; p = 0.035). Between the first and the follow-up specimens, 65% of the children had ≥2-fold difference in the levels of FSC in the secretions. Because an optimal standardization protein should show minimal variation between individuals and over time, FSC may not be a suitable protein for correction of the unknown dilution of nasopharyngeal specimens from children with upper respiratory tract infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999



  • Inflammation
  • Nasal lavage fluid
  • Nasal mucosa
  • Secretory component
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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