Visualizing antibody-mediated killing of E. coli by the Membrane Attack Complex
Antibodies form a promising alternative for antibiotics in treating infections with Gram-negative bacteria, because these molecules effectively activate the complement system. Complement activation triggers the formation of lytic immune pores in the bacterial membrane, called Membrane Attack Complexes (MACs). In this study, we developed a fully purified complement assay and optimized high-resolution microscopy techniques to study the properties of functional antibodies and of bactericidal MAC pores on the bacterial surface. These molecular insights may guide the development of therapeutic antibodies.