Necrotising enterocolitis and neuraminidase-producing bacteria

Helv Paediatr Acta. 1980 May;35(2):121-8.


In 9 out of 26 newborns with necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) exposure of the Thomsen-cryptantigen (T-antigen), probably due to the action of circulating bacterial neuraminidase, was demonstrated on red blood cells. The serological titres seemed to correlate with the clinical course of the disease. Neuraminidase-producing clostridia were isolated in two of the patients. Reaction between the exposed T-antigen and anti-T-agglutinins, normally present in human blood, may lead to difficulties during blood transfusion. This potential transfusion hazard is best avoided by routine T-antigen-tests and by transfusion of packed or washed red blood cells to T-antigen-positive patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens / analysis
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology*
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / microbiology*
  • Lectins
  • Neuraminidase / metabolism*


  • Antigens
  • Lectins
  • Neuraminidase