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APMIS. 1997 Aug;105(8):617-22.

Serum mannan-binding lectin (MBL) in patients with infection: clinical and laboratory correlates.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Tampere University Hospital, Finland.


In this study, we determined the serum levels of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) in patients with suspected or documented infection to characterize the possible role of MBL in the susceptibility to infection. We also investigated the kinetics of MBL during the infection and correlated the concentrations of MBL with those of acute-phase reactants C-reactive protein (CRP) and group II phospholipase A2 (PLA2-II) and cytokines interleukin-1(IL-1). interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). The frequency of MBL deficiency in the patients with signs of infection did not differ from that of controls. In four patients with MBL deficiency, the infections were caused by common pathogens and the outcome was normal. The mean MBL concentration in the patients with signs of infection was significantly higher than in the healthy controls (9.88 and 4.48 mg/l, respectively; p < 0.05). The highest mean MBL concentration was observed in patients with clinically or microbiologically documented bacterial infection. During follow-up, the MBL concentration altered individually in different patients, but no particular change in pattern in the MBL concentration could be demonstrated in any patient group. Of the acute-phase reactants in the circulation, only CRP and IL-1 showed a weak, albeit significant, negative correlation with the concentration of MBL. In conclusion, the deficiency of MBL was not shown to be an independent risk factor for infection in the adult population studied. The concentration of MBL did not follow the change in pattern of other acute-phase reactants and cytokines during the acute phase response. Therefore, measurement of the MBL concentration as an acute-phase reactant is not useful in the diagnosis or follow-up of infection. On the other hand, the deficiency of MBL can be detected reliably by serological methods even during an infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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