Malarial paroxysms due to Plasmodium vivax were studied for alterations in whole serum complement (C') and certain C' components. The objective was to relate C' values with events of the parasite cycle during schizogony and with the febrile pattern. Substantial decreases in C' were found in 9 of 18 paroxysms studied during relapse. In contrast, only one of 22 paroxysms occurring during the primary attack was associated with a striking depression in C', and this case exhibited certain characteristics of a relapse paroxysm. The mean change in C' levels during paroxysms in relapse (-23%) was significantly different from paroxysms of the primary attack (-2%). Depletion of C' was associated directly with degree of parasitemia and presence of complement fixing (CF) antibody. Lowest levels of C' were found within a few hr after completion of schizont rupture and peak fever. C4 levels reflected changes in whole serum C' and appeared to be a more sensitive indicator of C' alterations during malaria. While the alterations in C4 as well as C1 and C2 indicated that the classical C' pathway was involved, some preliminary results showed little or no depletion of late components, C3 and C6. Overall results are compatible with C' activation and depletion during or soon after schizont rupture if parasite density is sufficiently high and if CF antibody is present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-460
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1974


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