Background. Low mannan-binding lectin (MBL) levels, caused by MBL2 polymorphisms, are suggested to contribute to susceptibility to respiratory tract infections (RTIs), particularly early in life. Large-scale replication of previous associations is needed, however. We investigated the association between MBL2 polymorphisms and the frequency of RTI in a large population-based birth cohort of white children. Methods. The frequency of RTI was prospectively assessed by annual parental questionnaires until children were 4 years of age. Thirteen polymorphisms in MBL2 were determined in 987 Dutch children. Haplotypes, previously shown to be associated with functional levels of MBL, were constructed, and their associations with the frequency of RTI during year 1, year 2, and the first 4 years of life were assessed. High-producing, intermediate-producing, and deficient MBL2 genotypes were defined on the basis of exon 1 and Y/X promoter polymorphisms. Results. No differences were found between investigated polymorphisms and haplotype frequencies in the population as a whole or between the groups with frequent, moderately frequent, or no RTIs reported. Deficient MBL2 genotypes were not associated with an increased risk of RTI (odds ratio, 0.71 [95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 2.05]) during years 1-4 of life. This was also true when year 1 and year 2 were studied separately. Conclusion. These results suggest that, at the population level, MBL2 polymorphisms do not contribute to the risk of questionnaire-reported RTI in white children.,
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Ruskamp, J., Hoekstra, M. O., Postma, D., Kerkhof, M., Bottema, R., Koppelman, G., … Sanders, E. (2008). Polymorphisms in the mannan-binding lectin gene are not associated with questionnaire-reported respiratory tract infections in children. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 198(11), 1707–1713. doi:10.1086/592989