Authors: Serruto D, Rappuoli R, Scarselli M, Gros P, van Strijp JA.

The complement system is a crucial component of the innate immune response in humans. Recent studies in Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria meningitidis have revealed how these bacteria escape complement-mediated killing. In addition, new structural data have provided detailed insights into the molecular mechanisms of host defence mediated by the complement system and how bacterial proteins interfere with this process. This information is fundamental to our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis and may facilitate the design of better vaccines.