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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


DORTA-CONTRERAS, Alberto J; PADILLA-DOCAL, Bárbara  and  COIFIU-FANEGO, Raisa B. Using reibergrams to evaluate the intrathecal synthesis of C3c and C4 in children affected with Neisseria meningitidis meningoencephalitis. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.1, pp.24-27. ISSN 1027-2852.

Meningococcal meningoencephalitis was a serious pediatric health problem in Cuba before the successful introduction of a Cuban vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis. The present paper assesses the role of the complement system in this disease in unvaccinated sick children, using a novel methodology developed by the authors. Seven children were used, of an average of 5.8 years of age with N. meningitidis meningoencephalitis diagnosed by traditional microbiological methods. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid samples were obtained at the same time point, and used to quantify major immunoglobulins, IgG subclasses, C3c, C4 and albumin by radial immunodiffusion with commercially available plates. No C3c was found in one of the two deceased patients. Measurable intrathecal synthesis of C3c was observed in the remaining patients, however, intrathecal synthesis of C4 was found in all patients, as demonstrated with the corresponding reibergrams. The measurement of the intrathecal synthesis of these components of the complement system is useful for discriminating immunodeficiencies and to better understand the behavior of the disease.

Keywords : meningoencephalitis; Neisseria meningitidis; C3c; C4; intrathecal synthesis; reibergrams.

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