Opsonic Activity of Insect Hemolymph

  • Norman A. Ratcliffe
  • Andrew F. Rowley
Part of the Comparative Pathobiology book series (CPATH, volume 6)


An opsonin can be defined as any substance in the blood which adsorbs on to the surface of foreign particles and increases their adhesion to phagocytic cells. Since adhesion is part of the recognition phase of phagocytosis it follows that, providing an energy source is available, enhanced recognition and binding usually result in increased engulfment and subsequent intracellular digestion of foreign material (Miler, 1973). In vertebrates, the opsonic activity of serum is attributed to antibody (normal or immune) and/or the complement system. Antibody may opsonize by itself or interact with complement components, which then follow the classical pathway through C1, C4, C2, and C3, to bring about opsonization. It has also been shown that sera from various animals deficient not only in antibody but also in the C4, C2, and C1 components have opsonic activity equivalent to normal sera, and that activation of C3 occurs via the alternative pathway and involves properdin and Factors A, B, and D (Hobart and McConnell, 1975; Stossel, 1975).


Blue Crab Sheep Erythrocyte Galleria Mellonella Opsonic Activity Albumin Gland 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman A. Ratcliffe
    • 1
  • Andrew F. Rowley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity College of SwanseaSwanseaWales, UK

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