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Complement System Solutions

A first line of defense

Complement is an essential part of innate immunity and therefore disturbances in the complement system can lead to infections, inflammation and autoimmune disease. Testing the functional activity of complement can in these cases be used for diagnostic purposes, and also to verify the effect of complement therapeutics. 

Svar Complement Portfolio

The increased awareness and interest in the complement system has augmented the need for a simple and objective method to assess the function of complement activity. 

The Svar complement test system consists of functional assessments of all three pathways in a simple and accurate ELISA format. In our complement portfolio we also offer a unique complement activity marker for the classical pathway; the C4d ELISA. All our complement assays are also available through the Wieslab Services Laboratory as clinical routine testing and for research projects in developing new complement therapeutics.

Reasons to analyze complement

Complement is an essential part of innate immunity and therefore disturbances in the complement system can for example lead to infections and amplification of diseases. Testing the functional activity of complement can in these cases be used for diagnostic purposes, and also to verify the effect of treatment. 

Three major reasons to study complement function:

  1. Complement deficiencies are associated with infections and autoimmune diseases. Deficiencies of the classical pathway are often associated with SLE, glomerulonephritis and susceptibility to infections. Deficiencies of the alternative pathway often leads to Neisserial infections. An excellent way to screen for deficiencies is to study the function of the three pathways of the system. 
  2. Activation of the complement system is part of active autoimmune diseases and therefore reflects ongoing disease processes. For example, in SLE complement activation can be measured to monitor disease activity in order to detect flares. 
  3. New therapies are aiming at stopping or increasing complement activity. Functional assessment of complement activity is essential to evaluate potency and efficacy of complement blocking/manipulating drugs. As a result of the increased awareness of the importance of complement in many clinical situations a number of drug candidates are in the pipeline. The development of these drugs requires easy and accurate means of functional assessment of all three complement pathways, both for development and monitoring purposes. 

Methodologic considerations

In a number of situations, it is assumed that the concentrations of certain complement components (C3 and C4) reflect the overall functionality of the complement system. Only measuring the level of C3 and C4 immunochemically provides an oversimplified view and is associated with serious limitations.

Providing the full picture of complement function

In contrast, functional assays of the complement activation pathways such as the Svar Complement ELISA, based on quantifying the formation of the Membrane Attack Complex, will reflect all the different steps in the complement activation pathways and hence provide the full picture of complement function.

When screening for activation of the classical or alternative complement pathways, hemolytic assays (CH50, AH50) are often used as these assays have proven to be sensitive enough to show the reduction, absence and/or inactivity of any component of the respective pathway.

Compared to traditional hemolytic assays the Svar Complement assays offer increased reagent stability and less analytical variation, thereby strengthening and improving complement functional assessment in different analytical situations. The ELISA format used offers superior ease of handling, increased objectivity in interpretation and faster turnaround time.  The Svar assays are also optimized for automation resulting in decreased hands-on-time and increased reliability and reproducibility.

How does the
Complement System work?

The complement system is a complex system composed of a large number of proteins that act in a sequential cascade. The complement system consists of three different pathways called the classical, lectin and alternative pathways. The activation of each pathway is triggered by different mechanisms/components.

 

Discover the benefits of the Svar Complement Assays