Procalcitonin (PCT) is the pre-cursor of the calcitonin.It is a 116 amino acid protein with a molecular mass of 13 kDa, encoded by the CALC1 gene. Under normal conditions, the PCT formed in thyroid C cells is converted to calcitonin; as a result, no PCT is released into circulation, and the level of procalcitonin in the blood of healthy individuals is low. Therefore, it is typically undetectable in Healthy persons.
PCT is produced by any cell in the human body, often responding to bacterial infections and tissue injury. However, it is mainly released by kidney, liver, muscle, and fat cells in response to bacterial toxins in the body. For example, Streptococcus pneumoniae or Haemophilus influenza cause a more significant rise in procalcitonin levels than atypical bacteria.
The level of procalcitonin is increased in bacterial infections and Sepsis. Sepsis is the related response to infection by microbial agents, bacteria, fungi, and yeast, and the patient usually develops a fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, and leucocytosis. High PCT levels are typically found in Severe Sepsis and Septic shock patients. Serum PCT levels increase within 2-3 hours after exposure to bacterial toxins and reach a peak at 24- 48 hours. PCT levels in healthy individuals are <0.1 ng/mL.
Sepsis and septic shock can result from pneumonia, urinary tract infection, infected invasive devices, intra-abdominal and post-surgical infections. The Prime sites are respiratory tract infections, followed by genitourinary infections and gastrointestinal infections.
Procalcitonin has gained clinical significance as a serum biomarker as it helps distinguish bacterial infections from other causes of infection or inflammation. It is widely used as a helpful adjunct to clinical judgment for guiding antibiotic therapy and resolving diagnostic uncertainty in patients with lower respiratory tract infections.
J. Mitra & Co. offers diagnostic test kits for Quantitative determination of PCT levels in Human Serum and plasma; An ELISA test; PCT Quanti Microlisa and POCT test; PCT Quanti card, based on Fluorescence immunoassay.