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Shock. 2011 Jan;35(1):42-4. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3181e83204.

Inter-α inhibitor proteins: a novel therapeutic strategy for experimental anthrax infection.

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Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, RI 02860, USA.


Human inter-α inhibitor proteins are endogenous human plasma proteins that function as serine protease inhibitors. Inter-α inhibitor proteins can block the systemic release of proteases in sepsis and block furin-mediated assembly of protective antigen, an essential stop in the intracellular delivery of the anthrax exotoxins, lethal toxin and edema toxin. Inter-α inhibitor proteins administered on hour or up to 24 h after spore challenge with Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain protected mice from lethality if administered with antimicrobial therapy (P < 0.001). These human plasma proteins possess combined actions against anthrax as general inhibitors of excess serine proteases in sepsis and specific inhibitors of anthrax toxin assembly. Inter-α inhibitor proteins could represent a novel adjuvant therapy for the treatment of established anthrax infection.

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