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JAMA. 2001 Mar 14;285(10):1316-21.

Acute respiratory tract infections and mannose-binding lectin insufficiency during early childhood.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Artillerivej 5, DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark. ako@ssi.dk

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Hospital-based studies have found that increased susceptibility to certain infections is associated with low serum levels of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) due to MBL variant alleles. However, the contribution of MBL insufficiency to incidence of common childhood infections at a population level is unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of MBL insufficiency on risk for acute respiratory tract infection (ARI) in unselected children younger than 2 years.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Population-based, prospective, cohort study conducted in Sisimiut, Greenland.

PARTICIPANTS:

Two hundred fifty-two children younger than 2 years who were followed up weekly between August 1996 and August 1998 for morbidity surveillance.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Risk of ARI, based on medical history and clinical examination, compared by MBL genotype, determined from blood samples based on presence of structural and promoter alleles.

RESULTS:

A 2.08-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.41-3.06) increased relative risk (RR) of ARI was found in MBL-insufficient children (n = 13) compared with MBL-sufficient children (n = 239; P<.001). The risk association was largely restricted to children aged 6 to 17 months (RR, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.78-4.79) while less effect (RR, 1.47; 95% CI, 0.45-4.82) and no effect (RR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.42-2.37) was shown among children aged 0 to 5 months and 18 to 23 months, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

These data suggest that genetic factors such as MBL insufficiency play an important role in host defense, particularly during the vulnerable period of childhood from age 6 through 17 months, when the adaptive immune system is immature.

PMID:
11255386
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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