Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency is associated with reduced intestinal ischemia-reperfusion (IR) damage in rodents. We set out to investigate an association between frequently observed MBL deficiency and IR associated intestinal cell damage in man. Using a newly developed IR model of the human small intestine 29 patients were consecutively included. Part of the jejunum was subjected to 30min of ischemia and reperfusion. The MBL genotype was assessed by means of quantitative-PCR analysis. Enterocyte loss was explored by measuring plasma intestinal-fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) levels. Arterial and venous MBL plasma levels were measured to assess MBL consumption, MBL deposition was analyzed by immunofluorescence. Ethical approval and informed consent were obtained. The amount of epithelial cell damage varied significantly between the carriers of different mbl2 genotypes (ANOVA, p=0.02). I-FABP release, representing disintegration of differentiated enterocytes, observed in homozygous wildtype individuals was twice (p=0.03) that measured in heterozygous and ten times (p=0.04) that observed in homozygous variant individuals. No MBL deposition was observed over the course of reperfusion. The data indicate that MBL influences intestinal epithelial cell integrity in an immediate and non-complement dependent manner during ischemia and reperfusion.