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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Nov;26(11):989-94.

Deficiency of mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 associated with increased risk of fever and neutropenia in pediatric cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



Mannose-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2) is an essential component of the lectin pathway of complement activation. MASP-2 deficiency is common because of genetic polymorphisms, but its impact on susceptibility to infection is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine whether children with cancer and MASP-2 deficiency develop more frequent or more severe episodes of fever and severe chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (FN).


Serum MASP-2 was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at the time of diagnosis in children treated with chemotherapy for cancer. Association of FN episodes with MASP-2 concentration was analyzed using Poisson regression accounting for chemotherapy intensity and duration.


Median MASP-2 in 94 children was 527 ng/mL (interquartile range, 367-686). Nine (10%) children had MASP-2 deficiency (<200 ng/mL). During a cumulative chemotherapy exposure time of 82 years, 177 FN episodes were recorded. MASP-2 deficient children had a significantly increased risk of developing FN (multivariate risk ratio, 2.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.31-3.21; P = 0.002), translating into significantly prolonged cumulative duration of hospitalization and of intravenous antimicrobial therapy. They experienced significantly more episodes of FN without a microbiologically defined etiology, and there was a trend toward more frequent episodes of FN with bacteremia.


In this study, MASP-2 deficiency was associated with an increased risk of FN in children treated with chemotherapy for cancer. MASP-2 deficiency represents a novel risk factor for chemotherapy-related infections.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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