Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a vital and versatile
component of innate immunity. It is present in serum
and may bind to a plethora of microbial pathogens and
mediate opsonization of these by complement-dependent
and/or independent mechanisms. Low-MBL levels in
serum, attributed to certain genetic polymorphisms,
constitute a major factor predisposing to several infectious
diseases. However, recent studies propose that
MBL extends beyond its classic role as a first-line hostdefense
molecule to a modulator of inflammation. In
this review, we summarize and explore this potential
and a possible novel role of MBL in asthma and allergy.