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Pitfalls in complement analysis: A systematic literature review of assessing complement activation

🔬 Navigating Challenges in Complement Analysis: Insights from Erik Toonen and collaborators! 🧪📚


Explore the intricacies of complement analysis with this systematic literature review. The complement system, a pivotal player in our innate defense and disease pathogenesis, necessitates precise assessment for monitoring disease progression and therapy response. However, achieving accurate and standardized complement analysis proves to be a formidable task.


💡 The study delves into the current methodologies employed for assessing complement components, focusing on key biomarkers such as C3, C5, and their split products, along with the soluble variant of the terminal C5b-9 complement complex (sTCC) in human blood samples. The researchers conducted a systematic review of studies published between February 2017 and February 2022, scrutinizing whether these studies adhered to recommended practices regarding pre-analytical sample handling and assay techniques.


🚀 Out of 376 studies, 92 underwent a comprehensive analysis. Astonishingly, only 49% (45 studies) followed correct sample types and techniques for their complement analyses. Conversely, 27% (25 studies) did not adhere to the appropriate sample type or technique. In 24% (22 studies) of cases, the study did not specify the sample type used.


🌟 The conclusion highlights a significant deviation from standardized procedures in a considerable number of studies. This discrepancy in sample handling and technique implementation raises concerns about misinterpretation of complement biomarker levels and impedes the comparability of complement measurements across studies. The study emphasizes the urgent need for general guidelines to ensure accurate and standardized complement analysis.


👏 Applause to Ricardo Brandwijk, Marloes Michels, Mara van Rossum, Aline de Nooijer, Per H. Nilsson, Wieke de Bruin and Erik Toonen for shedding light on the crucial importance of adhering to proper procedures in complement analysis! Stay tuned for further advancements in establishing guidelines for precise complement assessments. 


Find the full article here.

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