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Role of mannose-binding lectin on pneumococcal infections


The role of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency (MBL2 XA/O + O/O genotypes) in host defences remains controversial. The surfactant proteins (SP)-A1, SP-A2 and SP-D, and other collectins whose genes are located near MBL2, are part of the first-line lung defence against infection. We analyzed the role of MBL on susceptibility to pneumococcal infection and the existence of linkage disequilibrium (LD) among the four genes.


We studied 348 patients with pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia (P-CAP) and 1,591 controls. A meta-analysis of MBL2 genotypes in susceptibility to P-CAP and to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) was also performed. The extent of LD of MBL2 with SFTPA1, SFTPA2 and SFTPD was analyzed.


MBL2 genotypes did not associate with either P-CAP or bacteraemic P-CAP in the case-control study. The MBL-deficient O/O genotype was significantly associated with higher risk of IPD in a meta-analysis, whereas the other MBL-deficient genotype (XA/O) showed a trend towards a protective role. We evidenced the existence of LD between MBL2 and SPs genes.


The data do not support a role of MBL deficiency on susceptibility to P-CAP or to IPD. LD among MBL2 and SP genes must be considered in studies on the role of MBL in infectious diseases.

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Correspondence to J Solé Violán.

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Solé Violán, J., García-Laorden, I., Rodríguez de Castro, F. et al. Role of mannose-binding lectin on pneumococcal infections. Crit Care 16, P25 (2012).

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  • High Risk
  • Infectious Disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Emergency Medicine