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    I'm having trouble answering this past paper question.
    "Discuss the role of complement in the direct and indirect elimination of pathogenic organisms by the innate immune system."

    I have heard that when talking about complement in this question, you would only refer to the alternative pathway (and bits of the lectin pathway), but not the classical pathway. What is the reason for this?

    Thank you.
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    (Original post by scienceq)
    I'm having trouble answering this past paper question.
    "Discuss the role of complement in the direct and indirect elimination of pathogenic organisms by the innate immune system."

    I have heard that when talking about complement in this question, you would only refer to the alternative pathway (and bits of the lectin pathway), but not the classical pathway. What is the reason for this?

    Thank you.
    Perhaps because pathogens can evade the classical pathway. Since the classical pathway is activated by antigen-antibody complexes and some bacterial pathogens can form coats which prevent antibody from binding e.g. forming polysaccharide capsules (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2814840/), the body would have to rely on the alternative pathway to spontaneously produce C3b which can they be used in opsonisation so maybe that's what it's getting at?
 
 
 
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