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Author: Brian Wu PhD. MD Candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2015.
Complement is a group of more than 30 proteins found in blood and tissues throughout the body. They play an important role in immune system function by enhancing the inflammatory response and pathogen elimination. A deficiency in any one of these complement proteins can cause a wide range of symptoms, stemming from:
Complement deficiencies are considered to be rare disorders and compromise between 1–10% of all cases of primary immunodeficiency. Complement deficiency is also known as hypocomplementaemia.
Complement deficiencies are inherited. Most are autosomal recessive traits with the exception of a deficiency of the C1 inhibitor, which is autosomal dominant, and properdin deficiency, which is X-linked.
Complement deficiencies affect various organs.
The risk factors for complement deficiencies include:
Complement deficiencies are commonly diagnosed with the following tests:
There are no specific treatments available as yet for complement deficiencies.
Treatment can include:
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