Host defense against Neisseria meningitidis requires a complement-dependent bactericidal activity

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Science  20 Jul 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4403, pp. 298-299
DOI: 10.1126/science.451601


Some individuals, with severe or recurrent infection with Neisseria species, have been identified as lacking a component in the terminal attack sequence of complement (complement components 5 to 9). The relevance of the terminal attack sequence to various phases of host defense was tested with the use of the C-11 strain of meningococci and human serum genetically deficient in complement component 8 (C8-D). The C8-D serum was comparable to normal serum in supporting ingestion and intracellular killing by leukocytes but was not bactericidal in the fluid phase unless reconstituted with C8. Thus, serum complement-dependent bactericidal activity may be especially critical for the host's defense against invasive Neisseria species.