Mannose-binding lectin genotype is associated with respiratory disease in young children: A multicenter cohort study

Tom Ruffles (Lead / Corresponding author), Kaninika Basu, Sarah K. Inglis, Stephen Bremner, Heike Rabe, Anjum Memon, Paul Seddon, Roger Tavendale, Colin N. A. Palmer, Somnath Mukhopadhyay, Katy Fidler

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Background: Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is an important component of the innate immune system. Polymorphisms in the MBL2 gene and promoter region are directly associated with MBL-deficiency. We sought to determine the association between MBL genotype on the frequency of common childhood respiratory infections, respiratory symptoms, and atopic outcomes in early childhood. Methods: MBL2 gene variants were analyzed in newborns recruited to the GO-CHILD multicenter prospective cohort study. Follow-up for respiratory infection and atopy diagnoses and symptoms, healthcare utilization, and medication prescription were conducted by postal questionnaires at 12 and 24 months. Results: Genotyping and follow-up were completed in 1004 children. Genotypes associated with MBL-deficiency were associated with an increased risk of bronchiolitis (relative risk [RR] 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.33–2.85) and pneumonia (RR 2.46, 95% CI 1.16–5.22). MBL-deficient genotypes were associated with an increased risk of wheeze with shortness of breath episodes (RR 1.22, 95% CI 1.04–1.43), emergency department attendance (RR 1.90 95% CI 1.13–3.19), and hospital admission (RR 2.01, 95% CI 1.04–3.89) for wheeze. MBL-deficient genotypes were associated with a reduced risk of developing atopic dermatitis (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53–0.98). Conclusion: The positive association between MBL-deficient genotypes and bronchiolitis and pneumonia, as well as a severe wheeze phenotype in some young children, supports the hypothesis that MBL is an important component of innate immunity in the vulnerable period before the maturation of the adaptive immune system. Identification of disease-modifying genotypes may help target preventative strategies in high-risk infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2824-2833
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number11
Early online date10 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • atopic
  • bronchiolitis
  • mannose-binding lectin
  • pneumonia and dermatitis
  • respiratory tract infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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