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Resistin is a proinflammatory hormone recently proposed as a sepsis biomarker. Our aim was to evaluate the diagnostic and prognostic values of this marker in neonatal sepsis.This is a prospective observational study that includes 60 term and late preterm neonates with proven and possible sepsis besides 30 healthy controls. Resistin and other biomarkers, like C-reactive protein (CRP), were measured within 2 h of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission. Infants were monitored and the primary outcome was 30-day mortality.Resistin was higher among septic neonates compared with controls (P<0.001). Resistin had an area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.994 for differentiating septic infants from controls. The area under the curve (AUC) for differentiating infants with culture-proven sepsis from controls was 0.999 compared with an AUC of 1 for CRP. The other markers, like platelet count, were inferior to resistin and CRP. Resistin was positively correlated with CRP [Spearman's correlation coefficient (rs)=0.55, P<0.001]. No significant differences in resistin levels were noted between survivors and non-survivors but resistin was higher among infants with severe sepsis (P=0.015) and among those who needed mechanical ventilation (P<0.001).Resistin is useful for the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis. Resistin failed to predict mortality but was associated with indicators of disease severity.