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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 42

of 'Approach to the child with recurrent infections'

Prophylaxis against Neisseria meningitidis infections and antibody responses in patients with deficiency of the sixth component of complement.
Potter PC, Frasch CE, van der Sande WJ, Cooper RC, Patel Y, Orren A
J Infect Dis. 1990;161(5):932.
Forty South African patients with homozygous deficiency of the sixth component of complement (C6) have been identified in an area where group B meningococcal meningitis is endemic; 22 of the 24 proband cases presented with recurrent meningococcal meningitis. In a 2- to 4-year prospective study, patients with recurrent infections who received monthly prophylactic long-acting penicillin were significantly protected from subsequent neisserial infection compared with those who did not receive penicillin (P = .02, Fisher's exact test). Heterogeneous susceptibility to neisserial infection was confirmed by following C6-deficient patients who presented with one or no Neisseria meningitidis infections. These patients, on no prophylaxis, had significantly fewer infections (P = .004) than did patients who presented with recurrent disease. Functional C6 activity was restored by transfusion of fresh frozen plasma in a C6-deficient patient resistant to conventional antibiotic treatment. Antibody levels to the serotype 2 outer membrane proteins were significantly elevated in C6-deficient patients compared with control groups (P = .001).
Department of Clinical Science and Immunology, University of Cape Town Medical School, Observatory, South Africa.