Mannose-binding lectin serum levels are low in persons with clinically active coccidioidomycosis

Neil M. Ampel, Sara O. Dionne, Andrea Giblin, Abigail B. Podany, John Galgiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is a circulating collectin that is part of the innate immune response. We explored the serum levels of MBL in persons with different forms of coccidioidomycosis. Methods: Serum MBL was measured by ELISA from samples obtained from healthy donors with immunity to Coccidioides, and those with various forms of active coccidioidomycosis. Blood cell specimens from a subgroup of subjects with active coccidioidomycosis were examined for single nucleotide polymorphisms of the MBL gene and promoter regions. Results: The control group comprised 29 healthy immune subjects. Patient groups with active coccidioidomycosis consisted of 20 patients with symptomatic primary pulmonary coccidioidomycosis, 26 with non-meningeal disseminated coccidioidomycosis, and nine with coccidioidal meningitis. The group with active coccidioidomycosis was significantly older and more likely to be male than the control group (for both, P < 0.001). The mean ± SEM level of serum MBL in the healthy controls was 169.4 ± 28.6 ng/ml, significantly higher than the 79.2 ± 10.9 ng/ml for all active groups (P < 0.001). Moreover, the active coccidioidomycosis group was significantly more likely to have serum MBL level 70 ng/ml compared to the control group (P = 0.001). Genetic analysis in 27 subjects with active coccidioidomycosis revealed marked variation based on race and ethnicity. Among a subgroup of 10 white, non-hispanic men with active coccidioidomycosis, there was a significant association between the H and P haplotypes and MBL levels 70 ng/ml (P < 0.036 and P < 0.035, respectively). Conclusions: These data suggest that there is an association between low serum MBL levels and symptomatic coccidioidomycosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Coccidioides
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Collectins
  • Human
  • Innate immunity
  • Mannose binding lectin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)


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