Italian journal of pediatrics

Serum hepcidin: indication of its role as an "acute phase" marker in febrile children.

PMID 23618075


Hepcidin is classified as a type II acute phase protein; its production is a component of the innate immune response to infections. To evaluate the alterations of serum hepcidin in children during and following an acute febrile infection. 22 children with fever of acute onset (< 6 hours) admitted to the 2nd Department of Pediatrics-University of Athens. Based on clinical and laboratory findings our sample formed two groups: the viral infection group (13 children) and the bacterial infection group (9 children). Hepcidin, ferritin and serum iron measurements were performed in all subjects. Serum hepcidin values did not differ notably between children with viral and bacterial infection, but a significant reduction of hepcidin was noted in both groups post-infection. Our study provides clinical pediatric data on the role of hepcidin in the face of an acute infection. In our sample of children, hepcidin was found to rise during the acute infection and fall post-infection.