Complement pp 345-365 | Cite as

Complement, Viruses, and Virus-Infected Cells

  • Neil R. Cooper
  • Glen R. Nemerow


The highly complex, finely tuned immunologic network has evolved to cope with the great diversity of pathogenic agents. Viruses, which cause a number of acute and chronic infectious diseases, represent a major category of such pathogens. As replicating agents, they have the ability to serve as a persistent or increasing antigenic challenge. Through several different mechanisms viruses have the potential to become latent in cells and to emerge at a later time and directly or indirectly produce disease. Some viruses alter their genetic structure to generate an ever changing panorama of antigens with which the host must deal. Others integrate into the genome and may be passed from generation to generation, thus blurring the distinctions between foreign antigenic structures and host antigens on the surface of viruses or virus-infected cells. Because of these many features, it is likely that viruses are largely responsible for driving the immune system to ever greater diversity through evolution.


Alternative Pathway Complement Component Measle Virus Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Classical Pathway 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil R. Cooper
    • 1
  • Glen R. Nemerow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyScripps Clinic and Research FoundationLa JollaUSA

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