Mannose-binding lectin gene variants and infections in patients receiving autologous stem cell transplantation
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AuthorMoretó Quintana, Ana; Fariñas Álvarez, María Concepción; Puente Pomposo, María; Ocejo Vinyals, Javier Gonzalo; Sánchez Velasco, Pablo; Horcajada Gallego, Juan Pablo; Batlle López, Ana; Montes Gaisán, Carmen; Santos Benito, Francisca; Conde García, Eulogio; Fariñas Álvarez, María del Carmen
Serious infections are common in patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) mainly because of the effects of immunosuppression. The innate immune system plays an important role in the defense against different infections. Mannose binding lectin (MBL) is a central molecule of the innate immune system. There are several promoter polymorphisms and structural variants of the MBL2 gene that encodes for this protein. These variants produce low levels of MBL and have been associated with an increased risk for infections.
Prospective cohort study. The incidence, severity of infections and mortality in 72 consecutive patients with hematologic diseases who underwent ASCT between February 2006 and June 2008 in a tertiary referral center were analyzed according to their MBL2 genotype. INNO-LiPA MBL2 was used for MBL2 gene amplification and genotyping. Relative risks (RR) (IC95%) as measure of association were calculated. Multivariate analysis was performed using logistic regression.
A statistically significant higher number of fungal infections was found in patients with MBL2 variants causing low MBL levels (21.1%versus1.9%, p=0.016). In this MBL2 variant group infection was more frequently the cause of mortality than in the MBL2 wild-type group (p=0.05). Although not statistically significant, there was a higher incidence of major infections in the MBL2 variant group as well as a higher number of infections caused by gram-positive bacteria.
Low-producer MBL2 genotypes were associated with an increased number of fungal infections in ASCT patients, which would suggest that MBL has a protective role against such infections. ASCT patients with MBL2 variant genotypes are more likely to die as a result of an infection.