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Mannose-binding lectin (MBL)

Category Immunology
Test background

Mannose binding lectin (MBL) is a Collectin secreted by the liver into blood that plays an important role in innate immune defence. MBL binds sugars to activate MBL associated serine protease (MASP) which initiates the lectin pathway of the complement cascade.

MBL deficiency is common and includes complete MBL deficiency, seen in 5-10% of the population, and partial deficiency, found in 25-30% of the population. Most individuals with mannose-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency are healthy. Infants and young children with MBL deficiency may be more prone to recurrent respiratory tract infections, otitis media and chronic diarrhoea.

Clinical Indications

Recurrent pyogenic/pneumococcal infections in children (6-24 months).

Reference range

0 to 5 years: 0.6 – 4.0 mg/L.
>5 years: 1.0 – 4.0 mg/L.
Reference ranges verified at referral laboratory

Sample & container required Serum (RST rust top)
Sample volume 5-10 mL blood (1 mL serum)
Turnaround time 28 days

Not currently performed in house; this test is referred to the Protein Reference Unit (PRU), Sheffield.