Definition: an immunologic system that is the alternative pathway for complement, composed of several distinct proteins that react in a serial manner and activate C3 (third component of complement), seemingly without using components C1, C4, and C2; in addition to properdin, the system includes Factors B, D, H, and I. The system can be activated, in the absence of specific antibody, by bacterial endotoxins, by a variety of polysaccharides and lipopolysaccharides, and by a component of cobra venom.
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