Reliable, noninvasive, sensitive and specific, cost-effective

A simple stool can speak volumes on intestinal inflammation, IBS, IBD, and C.difficile. Get a reliable first read on intestinal inflammation with Lactoferrin testing.

Lactoferrin testing is a quick, non-invasive, inexpensive way to see if a patient truly suffers from intestinal inflammation.

What is Lactoferrin?

Lactoferrin is a glycoprotein present in activated neutrophils–a type of white blood cell. When the intestines are inflamed, activated neutrophils are shed into the stool, and lactoferrin is present in very high levels. Lactoferrin is resistant to degradation and is stable in feces for two weeks at room temperature, or refrigerated at 2°-8°C.

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    There are other fecal biomarkers that indicate intestinal inflammation, but those biomarkers can fluctuate due to smoking, obesity, lifestyle modifications, time of testing, and medication the patient may take, such as proton pump inhibitors.

    Lactoferrin testing is not intended to replace endoscopy, but it can be a first step to help you determine if an endoscopy is necessary. Lactoferrin testing can also help confirm endoscopic findings.


Lactoferrin is the most stable fecal biomarker available for intestinal inflammation. It is more reliable than microscopy for detecting fecal leukocytes since it does not rely on intact leukocytes, which degrade in stool within hours.


Lactoferrin testing relies only on a fecal sample and thus reduces patient anxiety about having to submit to more invasive procedures. It provides a patient-friendly first read on inflammation and helps to rapidly identify those relatively few patients who will warrant further investigation.

Sensitive and specific

Lactoferrin testing has a sensitivity of 81.5 and a specificity of 96.5. Unlike white blood cell count, it is specific to intestinal inflammation.

Cost effective

By ruling out active IBD, lactoferrin testing helps to prevent unnecessary endoscopy, resulting in significant cost savings for both the patient and the health system. It also prevents unnecessary or mis-targeted antibiotic use for suspected C. difficile patients.


causes abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Two diseases, in particular, are often associated with intestinal inflammation:

IBD is the primary cause of noninfectious intestinal inflammation and can be difficult to distinguish from other intestinal disorders.

Young woman having painful stomachache.

CDI is the primary cause of infectious intestinal inflammation. IBD and CDI are often found together in a single patient.


Lactoferrin testing is available in two formats to fit your needs and is covered by most insurance plans.


A qualitative ELISA for high-volume clinical laboratories and testing facilities.


A lateral flow rapid membrane test for smaller clinical laboratories.


A quantitative ELISA that accurately and quantitatively measures the levels of fecal lactoferrin in a stool sample. The test result can be used to help distinguish patients with IBD who will have elevated levels of fecal lactoferrin from those with IBS.


“Fecal lactoferrin is sensitive and specific for detecting inflammation in chronic IBD.”

—Fecal lactoferrin is a sensitive and specific marker in identifying intestinal inflammation. S Kane, W Sandborn, P Rufo, A Zholudev, J Boone, D Lyerly, M Camilleri, and S Hanauer. 2003. Am J Gastro 98:6. 1309-1314.


“Lactoferrin can be detected using simple and cheap techniques and it has excellent stability in feces over a long period of time.”

—Questions and Answers on the role of fecal lactoferrin as a biological marker in inflammatory bowel disease. J Gisbert, A McNicholl, and F Gomollon. 2009. Inflamm Bowel Dis 1–9.

Did you know?

Lactoferrin was the first U.S. FDA-cleared non-invasive biomarker to aid in the differentiation of active IBD from IBS.

Lactoferrin testing is a non-invasive approach that causes less stress and offers a sensitive and specific indicator of active disease.

Lactoferrin testing can make the diagnosis and treatment of IBS, IBD, and CDI much quicker and easier for you and your patient.

Qualitative and quantitative lactoferrin testing is covered by most insurance plans.