Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Immune Complex

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_1581


Antibody–Antigen Interaction.

General Information

The formation of immune complexes with subsequent clearance is a physiological process during the acute phase of an immune reaction. When antibody-antigen aggregates develop in rising quantities they become detectable in the peripheral blood as so-called circulating immune complexes ( CIC). The formation of CIC is a common event during chronic parasitic infection like schistosomiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, and quartan  malaria. Only the deposition of immune complexes may cause severe pathological changes in the host.

During parasitic infection various circulating antigens appear at different developmental stages. Due to a selective immune response only few of them are complexed by antibodies. The antibody–antigen interaction may lead to structural changes in the antigen. The clearance of immune complexes depends on the structure of the antigen and the quality (affinity) and quantity of the...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016