Collectins contribute to host defence through interactions with glycoconjugates on pathogen surfaces. We have prepared recombinant trimeric neck and carbohydrate recognition domains (NCRD) of collectins, and we now show that the NCRD of bovine conglutinin and CL-46 (like that of CL-43) have greater intrinsic antiviral activity for influenza A virus (IAV) than the human SP-D NCRD (hSP-D-NCRD). The three serum collectins differ from SP-D by having insertions adjacent to amino acid 325 and substitution of hydrophobic residues for arginine 343. We previously showed that a three amino acid (RAK) insertion, as found in CL-43, increases antiviral activity and mannan-binding activity of the hSP-D-NCRD, while the substitution of valine at 343, as in conglutinin, more strongly increased these activities. Mannan-binding activity of collectins has been considered to predict for ability to bind to high mannose glycans on viruses or other pathogens. We now show, however, that combined mutants containing the RAK insertion and R343V or R343I substitutions have greatly increased mannan-binding ability, but lower IAV binding or inhibiting activity than mutants containing R343V or R343I substitutions only. These findings indicate differences in the recognition of glycan structures of mannan and IAV by the NCRD and emphasize the importance of the flanking sequences in determining the differing interactions of human SP-D and bovine serum collectins with mannose-rich glycoconjugates on IAV and other pathogens. Of interest, we show conservation of some monoclonal antibody-binding epitopes between bovine collectin NCRD and hSP-D, suggesting shared structural motifs.