Molecular mechanisms of complement evasion: learning from staphylococci and meningococci

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Jun;8(6):393-9. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2366.


The complement system is a crucial component of the innate immune response in humans. Recent studies in Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria meningitidis have revealed how these bacteria escape complement-mediated killing. In addition, new structural data have provided detailed insights into the molecular mechanisms of host defence mediated by the complement system and how bacterial proteins interfere with this process. This information is fundamental to our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis and may facilitate the design of better vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex / immunology
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex / metabolism
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / microbiology
  • Immune Evasion*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Neisseria meningitidis / cytology
  • Neisseria meningitidis / metabolism
  • Neisseria meningitidis / pathogenicity*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Staphylococcus aureus / cytology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*
  • Vacuoles / microbiology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Complement System Proteins