Furunculosis (Boil) and Mannose-Binding Lectin
Title: Association of furunculosis and familial
deficiency of mannose-binding lectin
Authors: Kars M, et al.
Publication: Eur J Clin Invest. 2005 Aug;35(8):531-4.
Polymorphism or different forms in the mannose-binding lecting
gene reduce the levels of mannose-binding lectin in the blood,
and are associated with enhanced risk of infection.
The authors wanted to examine the levels of mannose-binding lectin
in a family with recurring staphylococcal infection of furuncle
(boil) or carbuncle (a more severe form of boil). They took blood
samples from members of this family, and found that 13 out of
28 members showed deficiency in the mannose-binding lectin levels.
Nine out of 28 family members had boil, 7 of which had deficient
mannose-binding lectin (with an allele or form of mannose-binding
lectin gene named pBly). This pBly allele was also found in 4
other family members are still young, and had not developed boil
The authors concluded that family members that suffered from
boil had different alleles of the mannose-binding lectin gene,
indicating that normal mannose-binding lectin level played a relevant
role in the body’s defense against staphylococcal disease.
: lectin is a protein that binds carbohydrate
groups, in this case mannose or a specific form of sugar.