The significance of IgG subclasses and mannan-binding lectin (MBL) for susceptibility to infection in apparently healthy adults with IgA deficiency

Clin Exp Immunol. 1999 Jun;116(3):505-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1999.00898.x.


The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of IgG subclasses and MBL for susceptibility to infection in association with IgA deficiency. The study population consisted of 139 apparently healthy adult blood donors with IgA deficiency and normal serum levels of IgG and IgM, and an increased susceptibility to infection demonstrated at a population level. Additionally, 216 controls matched for age and sex were investigated. IgG4 deficiency was more common and the mean level of IgG4 lower in persons with IgA deficiency than in the controls. No significant associations could be demonstrated between overt IgG subclass deficiencies and increased susceptibility to infection. However, when the mean concentrations of IgG subclasses were analysed with regard to medical history, that of IgG1 was lower in persons who reported recurrent viral respiratory infections, that of IgG3 in persons who had episodes of severe infection in their history, and that of IgG4 in persons who had recurrent mild respiratory infections, compared with those who had no particular history of infections. In contrast, MBL deficiency-alone or combined with that of the IgG subclass-was not associated with increased susceptibility to infection in persons with IgA deficiency. The results indicate that the proneness to infections observed in a population of otherwise healthy persons with IgA deficiency can only for a small part be accounted for by concomitant deficiencies of IgG subclasses. Contrary to expectations, no synergism between the deficiencies of IgA and MBL could be demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carrier Proteins / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Collectins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • IgA Deficiency / complications*
  • IgA Deficiency / immunology*
  • IgG Deficiency / complications
  • IgG Deficiency / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification*
  • Infections / etiology*
  • Lectins / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mannans / metabolism
  • Middle Aged


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Collectins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lectins
  • Mannans