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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Roles of the Alternative Complement Pathway and C1q during Innate Immunity to Streptococcus pyogenes.

Complement is important for innate immunity to the common bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, but the relative importance of the alternative and classical pathways has not been investigated. Using mice and human serum deficient in either C1q, the first component of the classical pathway, or factor B, an important component of the alternative pathway, we have investigated the role of both pathways for innate immunity to S. pyogenes. C3b deposition on four different strains of S. pyogenes was mainly dependent on factor B. As a consequence opsonophagocytosis of S. pyogenes was reduced in serum from factor B-deficient mice, and these mice were very susceptible to S. pyogenes infection. In contrast, C3b deposition was not dependent on C1q for two of the strains investigated, H372 and H305, yet opsonophagocytosis of all four S. pyogenes strains was impaired in serum deficient in C1q. Furthermore, infection in C1q-deficient mice with strain H372 resulted in a rapidly progressive disease associated with large numbers of bacteria in target organs. These results demonstrate the important role of the alternative pathway and C1q for innate immunity to S. pyogenes and suggest that C1q-mediated innate immunity to at least some strains of S. pyogenes may involve mechanisms that are independent of C3b on the bacteria.[1]


  1. Roles of the Alternative Complement Pathway and C1q during Innate Immunity to Streptococcus pyogenes. Yuste, J., Ali, S., Sriskandan, S., Hyams, C., Botto, M., Brown, J.S. J. Immunol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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