Calprotectin (MRP 8/14, S100 A8/A9) is an immunomodulatory protein accounting for up to 60% of cytosolic protein in neutrophil granulocytes and macrophages. Calprotectin plays a central role in neutrophil defenses and inflammatory pathologies. Studies show under conditions of intestinal inflammation, calprotectin is released into the gastrointestinal lumen and serves as an accurate biomarker of mucosal inflammation.1 Research has shown that fecal calprotectin levels increase with mucosal inflammation. These findings illustrate the value of measuring calprotectin when studying inflammatory bowel diseases.
Measurement of fecal calprotectin levels provides valuable information that can assist physicians to determine whether to send IBD patients for colonoscopy treat them for IBS symptoms.2 Traditionally, IBD activity has been assessed through clinical symptoms, but it has been reported that these recognized activity indexes are subjective and do not correlate as consistently as fecal calprotectin levels with histologic inflammation.3
Fecal calprotectin has been demonstrated to be a reliable biomarker of mucosal inflammation in several organic IBD pathologies. In fact, it also functions as a valuable alternative to relying on clinical symptoms, the use of complex imaging procedures or performing endoscopy and biopsy. Due to the biomarkers’ ability to quantify disease activity, many research studies conclude that monitoring fecal calprotectin levels can be useful for chronicling disease activity in IBD. Calprotectin also has the ability to detect inflammation prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms.2
The clinical course of most IBD patients is marked by periods of remission with intermittent relapses characterized by increased intestinal inflammation. Thus, monitoring fecal calprotectin levels can not only assist in determining the effectiveness of therapy, but it can also help predict potential relapse. Fecal calprotectin levels provide physicians with a valuable tool for differentiating IBD from IBS cases, and also assists with the monitoring and prediction of treatment outcomes, therefore allowing for better management of IBD flares.4,5
The Calprotectin ELISA offers a broad sample range with one standard dilution versus other calprotectin assays requiring multiple dilutions depending on the standard range of choice. With a broader range, the Calprotectin ELISA eliminates the need for sample reruns. The sandwich monoclonal antibody system provides increased specificity and allows calprotectin researchers to be more confident in their results. The assay is also compatible with the unique Easy Stool Extraction Device which can save labs time and money in their initial stool extraction processes.
The Easy Stool Extraction Device is an FDA Class I Exempt tool that can be used across four comprehensive gastroenterology ELISA testing panels comprised of 11 different analytes.
The device allows lab technicians to replace manual weighing with one simple step. A grooved plastic wand is dipped into a stool sample in multiple areas and placed inside a vial pre-filled with a universal extraction buffer. This standardized device accurately measures 15 mg of stool and extracts the sample in 1.5 mL of extraction buffer, yielding a final dilution of 1:100. The resulting extract can be placed directly on automated platforms and run across up to 11 different assays.
In addition to measuring calprotectin, researchers have identified several other key biomarkers which demonstrate the potential to aid in the differentiation between IBD and IBS.
The popularity of measuring stool-based biomarkers to study both inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome is rapidly growing. Research indicates that fecal calprotectin levels are a dependable biomarker of mucosal inflammation. Using a broad range Calprotectin ELISA for analyzing fecal calprotectin levels can aid researchers in tracking changes in mucosal inflammation. Measuring calprotectin when studying inflammatory bowel diseases may lead to better methodologies for differentiating and monitoring these diseases as well was tracking the effectiveness of treatments.
Download our Calprotectin ELISA brochure to learn more.