Authors: Haas PJ, van Strijp J.

Activation of the complement system plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of infection and inflammation. Especially the complement activation products C3a and C5a, known as the anaphylatoxins, are potent proinflammatory mediators. In addition to their evident role in innate immunity, it is clear that the anaphylatoxins also play a role in regulation of adaptive immune responses. The anaphylatoxins play a role in a variety of infectious and inflammatory diseases like sepsis, ischemia-reperfusion injury, immune complex diseases, and hypersensitivity diseases like asthma. In this review we discuss the role of anaphylatoxins in infection and inflammation. Furthermore, we focus on bacterial complement evasion strategies that can provide tools for further research on pathogenesis of infectious diseases and a better understanding of the role of complement and anaphylatoxins in infection and inflammation.