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Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a glycoprotein and a member of the C-type lectin super family, the collectin family, and the acute phase protein family. The MBL exerts its function by directly binding to microbial surfaces through its carbohydrate recognition domains, followed by direct opsonization or complement activation via MBL-associated serine proteases (MASP) -1 and -2. Thus, MBL plays a major role in the first-line innate defense against pathogens. We investigated the MBL concentrations in serum during experimental infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) infections in chickens. The results showed that the acute phase MBL response to infection with IBV was, to a degree (P <0.0068), dependent on whether the chickens were inoculated after 12 h of rest (dark) or after 12 h of activity (light). The acute phase response in chickens challenged after 12 h of activity peaked after 4.6 d with an increase of 24%, whereas the acute phase response in chickens challenged after 12 h of rest peaked after 3.1 d with an increase of 51%. The specific antibody titer against IBV was also tested, and a difference (P <0.0091) between the two experimental groups was found with peak titer values of 6,816 and 4,349. However, the highest value was found in chickens inoculated after 12 h of activity. Thus, an inverse relation exists between the MBL response and the IBV specific antibody response. The ability of MBL to activate the complement cascade was tested in a heterologous system by deposition of human C4 on the chicken MBL/MASP complex. The complement activation was directly associated with the concentration of MBL in serum, indicating neutralization of the virus before the humoral antibody response took over.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)235-241
StatePublished - 2003


  • chicken, viral infection, infectious bronchitis virus, mannan-binding lectin
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ID: 3356576