Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Alok Agrawal

Committee Members

Cecilia McIntosh, Kumar Dhirendra, Christopher Pritchett


The anti-pneumococcal function of native C-reactive protein (CRP) involves its binding to phosphocholine molecules present on Streptococcus pneumoniae and subsequent activation of the complement system. However, when pneumococci recruit complement inhibitory protein factor H on their surface, they escape complement attack. Non-native forms of CRP have been shown to bind immobilized factor H. Accordingly, we hypothesized that modified CRP would bind to factor H on pneumococci, masking its complement inhibitory activity, allowing native CRP to exert its anti-pneumococcal function. As reported previously, native CRP protected mice from lethal pneumococcal infection when injected 30 minutes before infection but not when injected 24 hours after infection. However, a combination of native and mutant CRP was found to protect mice even when administered 24 hours after infection. Therefore, it is concluded that while native CRP is protective only against early-stage infection, a combination of native and mutant CRP offers protection against late-stage infection.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.