Deficiency of the mannan-binding lectin pathway of complement and poor outcome in cystic fibrosis: bacterial colonization may be decisive for a relationship

Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Feb;139(2):306-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2004.02690.x.


In cystic fibrosis (CF) prognosis concerning lung damage development is highly variable and difficult to predict. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency has been reported to be associated with poor outcome in CF lung disease. MBL is a recognition molecule of the MBL pathway of the complement system and is encoded by a gene characterized by a high degree of polymorphism. Some genotypes result in low serum concentrations of MBL. MBL-associated serine protease 2 (MASP-2) is another protein belonging to the MBL pathway. A mutation resulting in low levels of MASP-2 in serum has been described recently. In the present study, 112 CF patients aged 4-54 years were investigated for MBL and MASP-2 genotypes, serum levels of MBL and MASP-2 and the MBL pathway function in serum. No correlation to reduced lung function or need for lung transplantation was seen, either for MBL deficiency, MASP-2 gene mutation or reduced MBL pathway function. However, in the 27 patients colonized with Staphylococcus aureus, MBL-deficient genotypes were associated with decreased lung function. As expected, MBL pathway function in serum was reduced both in MBL-deficient patients and in patients carrying a mutant MASP-2 allele. An unexpected finding was that CF patients had higher serum levels of MBL than healthy controls when corrected for MBL genotype. In conclusion, MBL pathway function was affected both by MBL and by MASP-2 genotypes. However, MBL or MASP-2 levels in serum did not affect the clinical outcome in the cohort of CF patients studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin / physiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin / deficiency
  • Mannose-Binding Lectin / genetics
  • Mannose-Binding Protein-Associated Serine Proteases
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prognosis
  • Pseudomonas Infections / immunology*
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Mannose-Binding Lectin
  • MASP2 protein, human
  • Mannose-Binding Protein-Associated Serine Proteases
  • Serine Endopeptidases