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Variant MBL2 genotypes producing low mannose-binding lectin may increase risk of Bacillus Calmette–Guerin osteitis in vaccinated newborns



Laura Pöyhönen, Research Center for Child Health, University of Tampere and University Hospital, FinMed-3 building, 33014 Tampere, Finland.

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The aim of this study was to evaluate whether mannose-binding lectin (MBL) plays a role in the development of osteitis after Bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) vaccination as a newborn.


Blood samples were obtained from 132 former BCG osteitis patients, now aged 21–49 years, and analysed for MBL concentration and MBL2 genotype in a controlled setting.


Variant genotypes in the MBL2 gene were more common in the former BCG osteitis patients (42.4%) than in the population controls (32.3%, p = 0.033). However, MBL concentrations at the age of 21–49 years were not lower in these patients than in the controls in the same age group. The variant MBL2 genotypes were associated with low serum MBL concentrations, and moreover, MBL concentration was not measurable in two of those three patients who were homozygous for the variant MBL2 genotype. Low serum MBL concentrations were not associated with any illnesses in the medical history of the BCG patients, their siblings or children.


Preliminary evidence was found that variant, low-MBL-producing genotypes may be associated with the increased risk of BCG osteitis in vaccinated newborns.