Type 1 fimbriae with mannose-specific lectins are widely distributed among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae and confer the ability to attach to a range of host cells, including colonic epithelial cells. The mucosal surfaces are protected by secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), which agglutinates microorganisms and prevents their attachment to host epithelial cells. This action has been attributed to a specificity of the antigen-combining situ of mucosal immunoglobulins for bacterial and viral surface components. Here, we report a novel mechanism for the antibacterial effect of secretory Iga. Secretory IgA and IgA myeloma proteins, especially those of the IgA2 subclass, were shown to possess carbohydrate receptors for the mannose-specific lectin of type 1-fimbriated Escherichia coli. The presence of the high-mannose oligosaccharide chain Manα1-6(Manα1-3)Manα1-6(Manα1-3)Manβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-4GlcNAc correlated with binding activity. The interaction between bacterial mannose-specific lectins and IgA receptor oligosaccharide resulted in agglutination of the bacteria and in inhibition of bacterial attachment to colonic epithelial cells. Thus, this interaction could form the basis for a broad antibacterial function of secretory IgA against enterobacteria regardless of the specificity of antibody molecules.