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Scand J Immunol. 1997 Dec;46(6):597-600.

Difference in binding of killed and live Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes by C-reactive protein.

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Department of Paediatrics, Leiden University Hospital, The Netherlands.


The binding and opsonic properties of C-reactive protein (CRP) for various species of bacteria were investigated. CRP bound more avidly to killed than to live Streptococcus pneumoniae, the binding varying among various serotypes; CRP hardly bound to a number of other bacterial species studied. CRP enhanced complement-dependent phagocytosis of live S. pneumoniae by granulocytes but did not enhance the phagocytosis of live Staphylococcus aureus or group B streptococci. We suppose that CRP may serve as an opsonin for killed bacteria and bacterial debris but is probably not an important opsonin for live bacteria other than S. pneumoniae.

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