Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ian MacKay, Noel R. Rose

C5b-C9 Deficiency

  • Anete Sevciovic GrumachEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9209-2_3-1



C5b-C9 represents the terminal pathway of complement system. Complete genetic deficiency of any of those components can lead to increased risk of meningococcal disease, often recurrent infections caused by unusual serogroups.


Three major activation pathways, the classical, the alternative, and the lectin pathway, lead to a common pathway, the terminal complement system that consists of components five to nine. All pathways lead to cleavage of C3, and when additional C3b molecules are bound to the C3 convertases, this results in formation of C5 convertases (C4b2a3b) and subsequently cleavage of C5. This splits C5 into the small C5a molecule, and the larger C5b molecule, which is the initial component of the membrane attack complex (MAC). C5a is a strong chemotactic factor and an...

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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Medicina ABCSanto AndreBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kathleen Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA