Defensive and Offensive Cross-Reactive Antibodies Elicited by Pathogens: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Author(s): Daria Augustyniak*, Grazyna Majkowska-Skrobek, Justyna Roszkowiak, Agata Dorotkiewicz-Jach

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 24 , Issue 36 , 2017

  Journal Home
Translate in Chinese
Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


Understanding how immunity to pathogens develops is crucial for progress in the quest for effective vaccines. Intraspecies and interspecies cross-reacting antibodies are produced in high frequency against immune-relevant and shared microbial epitopes. It has been confirmed that cross-reactive antigens may have a crucial role in natural epidemiology to a particular infection and that cross-protection may influence the outcome of natural infections. On the other hand, the action of cross-reactive antibodies may be very harmful for the host. In this review we discuss both the defensive and offensive capabilities of cross-reactive antibodies. The defensive properties are discussed with regard to the beneficial cross-protective interaction of these antibodies against various microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoan parasites. We summarize the current knowledge of numerous effector functions of these antibodies such as agglutination, neutralization of infectivity, complement activation, phagocytosis enhancement, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. We also discuss the offensive action of cross-reactive antibodies including their detrimental effects in exacerbation of the infective diseases, as well as autoimmune diseases and allergy as a result of inappriopriate or deleterious inflammatory response associated with host tissue destruction. The factors influencing cross-protective capacity of antibodies are also presented.

Keywords: Antibodies, cross-reactivity, polyreactivity, cross-protection, molecular mimicry, immunity to pathogens, autoimmunity.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2017
Page: [4002 - 4037]
Pages: 36
DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170508110222
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 48