Background and aim Serum intestinal fatty acid binding proteins (I-FABPs) are cytosolic proteins mainly expressed in the intestinal villi which are affected early in viral gastroenteritis (GE) pathphysiology. So it can be used as an early and sensitive marker for the evaluation of gut wall integrity loss in GE particularly rotavirus gastroenteritis (RV-GE) in Egypt.
Patients and methods This case-control cross-sectional study was conducted on 93 Egyptian cases who suffered from acute viral gastroenteritis. 28 healthy children matching in age were recruited as the control group. We collect all clinical data concerning disease manifestations and severity criteria.
Serum I-FABPs were measured using the Enzyme linked Immune Sorbent Assay (ELISA) technique. Viral detection and typing was done by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for adenovirus, and by Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) for rotavirus, astrovirus and norovirus.
Results Results of this work revealed that serum I-FABPs levels were generally higher in the study group cases compared to the control group (1026.4 ± 494.4 pg/ml versus 267.9 ± 200.4 pg/ml, P < 0.001). They were also significantly higher in the 46 RV-GE cases compared to other types. Furthermore, Serum I- FABPs levels were significantly higher in severely dehydrated cases as compared to mildly dehydrated ones (p = 0.037). Serum I- FABPs levels were correlated significantly with those hospitalised (r = 0.223, p < 0.05).
Conclusion Serum I-FABPs can be successfully used not only as early and sensitive predictor marker of gut wall integrity loss in viral GE (especially RV-GE) but also their levels can indicate case severity.