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Microbes Infect. 2010 Aug;12(8-9):626-34. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 Apr 22.

Impaired opsonization with complement and phagocytosis of Streptococcus pyogenes in sera from subjects with inherited C2 deficiency.

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  • 1Centre for Respiratory Research, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Rayne Institute, London, United Kingdom.


Although subjects with inherited defects of the classical complement pathway component C2 are at increased risk of infection, there are few experimental data available on which bacterial pathogens they might be susceptible to. In order to investigate whether patients with inherited C2 deficiency may have increased susceptibility to Streptococcus pyogenes infection we have analysed opsonization with C3b/iC3b and phagocytosis of three different strains of S. pyogenes in serum from 8 C2(-/-) subjects using flow cytometry assays. Sera from patients with C2 deficiency had a markedly reduced ability to opsonise S. pyogenes with C3b/iC3b. In addition, phagocytosis of all three S. pyogenes strains was impaired in sera from C2(-/-) subjects. Both the reduced opsonisation with C3b/iC3b and phagocytosis in C2(-/-) sera were markedly improved by addition of exogenous C2 protein. Neutrophil dependent killing was also reduced, confirming the functional importance of C2 deficiency for immunity to S. pyogenes. Impaired opsonisation with C3b/iC3b and phagocytosis was not related to reduced recognition of the bacteria by antibody. These data suggest that patients with C2 deficiency are at increased risk of S. pyogenes infections.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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