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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 675898, 12 pages
Review Article

The Emerging Role of Complement Lectin Pathway in Trypanosomatids: Molecular Bases in Activation, Genetic Deficiencies, Susceptibility to Infection, and Complement System-Based Therapeutics

1Laboratório de Biologia Molecular de Parasitas e Vetores, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, 21040-900 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Laboratório de Imunopatologia, Departamento de Patologia Médicina, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, PR, Brazil

Received 7 December 2012; Accepted 1 January 2013

Academic Editors: S. Amaral Gonçalves da Silva and P. Grellier

Copyright © 2013 Ingrid Evans-Osses et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The innate immune system is evolutionary and ancient and is the pivotal line of the host defense system to protect against invading pathogens and abnormal self-derived components. Cellular and molecular components are involved in recognition and effector mechanisms for a successful innate immune response. The complement lectin pathway (CLP) was discovered in 1990. These new components at the complement world are very efficient. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) and ficolin not only recognize many molecular patterns of pathogens rapidly to activate complement but also display several strategies to evade innate immunity. Many studies have shown a relation between the deficit of complement factors and susceptibility to infection. The recently discovered CLP was shown to be important in host defense against protozoan microbes. Although the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by MBL and Ficolins reveal efficient complement activations, an increase in deficiency of complement factors and diversity of parasite strategies of immune evasion demonstrate the unsuccessful effort to control the infection. In the present paper, we will discuss basic aspects of complement activation, the structure of the lectin pathway components, genetic deficiency of complement factors, and new therapeutic opportunities to target the complement system to control infection.