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

Bactericidal activity of C9-deficient human serum.

Escherichia coli B/SM, strain 1-1, was killed dose dependently by human hereditary C9-deficient serum (C9DHS), which was shown to contain no C9 Ag by an ELISA method. On the other hand, human hereditary C7-deficient serum did not kill the bacteria under similar conditions. The bactericidal activity of C9DHS was inhibited by rabbit anti-C5 antibody but not by murine anti-C9 mAb. The anti-C9 antibody decreased the bactericidal activity of normal human serum (NHS) to the level of that with C9DHS. Sheep anti-human lysozyme antibody did not affect the bactericidal activity of C9DHS or NHS even when added at more than twice the concentration required to block the serum lysozyme activity on Micrococcus luteus. After treatment with C9DHS and washing, surviving Escherichia coli were killed by C9, but not by lysozyme, transferrin, or both. Other strains of E. coli ( K12 W3110, C600, and NIHJ) and Salmonella typhimurium (strain NCTC 74), all maintained in the laboratory, were also killed by C9DHS. However, pathogenic strains recently isolated from patients with traveler's diarrhea and some strains of S. typhimurium were resistant to both C9DHS and NHS, at least at the serum concentration tested. A concentration of 0.1 M Tris did not increase the susceptibility of serum-resistant strains of bacteria to C9DHS, but made one strain of S. typhimurium tested susceptible to NHS, but not to C9DHS. These results clearly showed that C9DHS kills bacteria that are sensitive to NHS through activation of C up to the step of C8 in the same way that C9-deficient C serum lyzed sensitized erythrocytes.[1]


  1. Bactericidal activity of C9-deficient human serum. Pramoonjago, P., Kinoshita, T., Hong, K.S., Takata-Kozono, Y., Kozono, H., Inagi, R., Inoue, K. J. Immunol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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