Throughout their evolution, most human pathogens have developed intricate immune evasion strategy, many of which target the complement system. The prototypic opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus appears to posses a particularly broad arsenal of modulators and inhibitors that interact with complement proteins impair their functions. Staphylococcal evasion proteins act at almost every stage of the complement cascade, including the masking of antibody recognition, inhibition of convertase formation and function, cleavage of complement components, modulation of regulator activities, and interference with anaphylatoxin signaling. In some cases, Staphylococcal proteins crosslink/bridge complement components to achieve an inhibitory activity. This functional map shows major complement evasion proteins of S. aureus and their targets in the complement system.

Lambris, Ricklin & Geisbrecht. 2008. Complement evasion by human pathogens. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 6:132-42.
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