Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is an important arm of innate immunity and plays a vital role in the first line of host defense. Genetic variation in MBL2 have been shown to associate with many infectious diseases, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as malaria, leishmaniasis, leprosy, tuberculosis, filariasis, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). MBL has been shown to bind with glycoconjugates on the surface of mannose rich microbes and deficiency of MBL has been associated with susceptibility and modulating the severity in bacterial, fungal, protozoan and viral infections. Many different approaches are being used to define ‘MBL deficiency’. It is more relevant in young children in whom immune system fails to mount an effective response to carbohydrate antigens. MBL replacement therapy has been tried in the past for patients with MBL deficiency. Currently, production of recombinant MBL is underway and provides a hope for children with innate immune disorders.
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