The distribution of four antigens of alimentary tract origin was studied in meconium collected from healthy and cystic fibrosis (CF) neonates. Two antigens, carcinoembryonic antigen and a beta glycoprotein designated Mec 6, had significantly lower concentrations in the meconium from CF neonates compared with that from healthy full-term infants. As their concentrations were unrelated to whether or not the infants had had pancreatic insufficiency at birth, their measurement may be of value for screening. Their concentrations also depended on the gestational age of the newborn, and it is speculated that the CF lesion may affect the maturation of intestinal secretions.
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