Complement and viral pathogenesis

Virology. 2011 Mar 15;411(2):362-73. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.12.045. Epub 2011 Feb 2.


The complement system functions as an immune surveillance system that rapidly responds to infection. Activation of the complement system by specific recognition pathways triggers a protease cascade, generating cleavage products that function to eliminate pathogens, regulate inflammatory responses, and shape adaptive immune responses. However, when dysregulated, these powerful functions can become destructive and the complement system has been implicated as a pathogenic effector in numerous diseases, including infectious diseases. This review highlights recent discoveries that have identified critical roles for the complement system in the pathogenesis of viral infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complement System Proteins / immunology*
  • Complement System Proteins / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Virus Diseases / pathology*
  • Viruses / immunology*
  • Viruses / pathogenicity*


  • Complement System Proteins