Complement evasion by human pathogens

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2008 Feb;6(2):132-42. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1824.


The human immune system has developed an elaborate network of cascades for dealing with microbial intruders. Owing to its ability to rapidly recognize and eliminate microorganisms, the complement system is an essential and efficient component of this machinery. However, many pathogenic organisms have found ways to escape the attack of complement through a range of different mechanisms. Recent discoveries in this field have provided important insights into these processes on a molecular level. These vital developments could augment our knowledge of the pathology and treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Complement Activation / immunology*
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Viruses / pathogenicity*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Complement System Proteins