C-reactive protein (CRP) has several properties that suggest that it may function as a bacterial opsonin. CRP shows binding reactivity with pneumococcal C-polysaccharide, the cell wall carbohydrate of Streptococcus pneumoniae. In this study we have demonstrated protection of mice against serotypes 3 and 4 of S. pneumoniae infection by a single prior injection of CRP. This effect was seen both in mice that lacked antibody to phosphocholine and in normal mice. Thus the opsonic properties of CRP previously described may be related to protection against pneumococcal infection.

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