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Trends Immunol. 2012 Oct;33(10):513-21. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jun 29.

The complotype: dictating risk for inflammation and infection.

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  • 1Institute of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK.


Complement is a key component of immune defence against infection; it potently drives inflammation at sites of pathology and is essential for killing of pathogens. Genetic linkage of common complement polymorphisms to disease has advanced the concept that subtle changes in complement activity significantly affect disease risk. Functional analyses of disease-linked polymorphic variants demonstrate that, although individual polymorphisms cause only small changes in activity, when combined, the aggregate effects are large. The inherited set of common variants, the complotype, thus has a major impact on susceptibility to inflammatory and infectious diseases. Assessing the complotype of an individual will aid prediction of disease risk and inform intervention to reduce or eliminate risk.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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