Complement inhibition by gram-positive pathogens: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications

Alexander Laarman, Fin Milder, Jos van Strijp, Suzan Rooijakkers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The plasma proteins of the complement system are essential in the innate immune response against bacteria. Complement labels bacteria with opsonins to support phagocytosis and generates chemoattractants to attract phagocytes to the site of infection. In turn, bacterial human pathogens have evolved different strategies to specifically impair the complement response. Here, we review the large arsenal of complement inhibitors produced by the gram-positive pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Group A Streptococcus. We discuss how these bacterial molecules provide us with new tools to treat both infectious and inflammatory disease conditions in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-20
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • bacterial proteins/genetics
  • complement activation/immunology
  • gram-positive bacteria/genetics
  • humans
  • immune evasion
  • staphylococcal infections/drug therapy
  • staphylococcus aureus/genetics
  • streptococcal infections/drug therapy
  • streptococcus pyogenes/genetics


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