Making Sense of Inflammation

Science

There are many ways that the human body can be harmed, physically injured such as head trauma during a sport, or illness like a bacterial infection. The body’s immune system’s response is similar to both, initiating beneficial inflammation typically characterized by redness, swelling, heat, and pain at the site. Kypha is focused on developing better inflammation testing to improve doctor’s ability to diagnose and treat a variety of diseases.

Knowing Inflammatory Status

  • Is something wrong?
  • How severe?
  • Getting better or worse?
  • How should we treat?
  • Can I go home now?
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Inflammation is an important part of the body’s protective response to infection, injury and harmful irritation. Inflammation is generally characterized by redness, swelling and pain at the site of infection or injury. These features are often mistaken as part of the destructive process of infection and injury, but in fact are central to elimination of bacteria and to tissue repair. Inflammation is a beneficial response unless it is caused by autoimmune disease or severe trauma.

Impact of Inflammation

impacts-of-inflammation
  • TRAUMA
  • INFECTION
  • VASCULITIS
  • TRANSPLANT REJECTION
  • KIDNEY DISEASE
  • CARDIAC ARREST/MI
  • PREECLAMPSIA
  • LUPUS
  • RHEUMATIC DISEASES
  • TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
  • PULMONARY DISORDER
  • STROKE
  • aHUS & TTP

One of the key contributors to the development of inflammation is group of proteins called complement. This system of proteins plays many roles in the inflammatory response: recruiting and activating helpful white blood cells, targeting bacteria and damaged tissue for removal and, directly killing some bacteria or viruses. The complement system is essential to normal health and deficiencies or mutations in complement proteins leads to frequent infections or, in some cases, serious or potentially fatal conditions. In autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakenly targets your own tissues, the damage is often due to inappropriate activation of complement.

inflammation-diagram

During inflammation the activation of complement leads to the cleavage of one of the main proteins called C3. This separation of C3 produces many activation fragments that contribute to inflammation. One of these activation fragments is called iC3b. In healthy individuals iC3b levels in blood are very low, however during inflammation due to infection, trauma or autoimmune disease, iC3b levels will rapidly increase indicating that complement has been recently activated.

Learn more about Complement

Kypha has taken advantage of the central role that complement plays in inflammation and in particular the value of rapidly measuring iC3b levels in body fluids as an important biomarker of the onset, progression and resolution of inflammation in disease or injury. Measuring the changes in iC3b levels will help physicians diagnose disease, follow disease progression or determine how well a treatment is working in disease management.

To maximize the value and ease of measuring iC3b levels, Kypha has designed a near real-time inexpensive test that is intended to be run in a hospital clinic or the doctor’s office, providing results in minutes. Kypha COMP ACT is a unique point of care iC3b test that provides rapid quantitative results measuring complement activation to monitor inflammation in a variety of diseases and injury conditions.

References:

  1. Prodinger, W.M., et al, “Complement” in Fundamental Immunology, p1077-1103, ed. Paul, W.E., 5th edition, 2003.

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