Summary It has been proposed that mannose-binding lectin (MBL) levels may impact upon host susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) infection; however, evidence to date has been conflicting. We performed a literature review and meta-analysis of 17 human trials considering the effect of MBL2 genotype and/or MBL levels and TB infection. No significant association was demonstrated between MBL2 genotype and pulmonary TB infection. However, the majority of studies did not report MBL2 haplotype inclusive of promoter polymorphisms. Serum MBL levels were shown to be consistently elevated in the setting of TB infection. While this may indicate that high MBL levels protect against infection with TB, the increase was also of a degree consistent with the acute-phase reaction. This analysis suggests that the relatively poorly characterized MBL2 genotypes reported are not associated significantly with susceptibility to pulmonary TB infection, but high MBL serum levels may be.
- mannose-binding lectin