Meconium ileus represents the earliest clinical manifestation of cystic fibrosis. The differences found in the composition and amount of protein, mucoprotein, mucopolysaccharides, and reducing sugars in meconium from newborns with cystic fibrosis might be of significance relative to the pathogenesis and early diagnosis of this disease. We studied the enzymatic activity of disaccharidases (lactase, sucrase, maltase, and palatinase) in meconium of infants with cystic fibrosis and controls. We found an increase in the specific activity of these enzymes in the meconium from infants with cystic fibrosis as compared to the specific activity in meconium from normal infants. The increase in the activities, expressed as micromols per gram of protein per minute was: lactase, 100 times higher; sucrase, 18 times; maltase, 4.8 times, and palatinase, 8.9 times.