WHAT IS C3 COMPLEMENT (BETA-1C GLOBULIN) TEST?
Complement is a term describing 20 specific serum globulin proteins that, in combination with antigen-antibody complexes, cause lysis of erythrocytes sensitised to the antibody contained in the complex. The nine major complement components are labelled C1 to C9. C3 complement is one of the nine major components of total complement protein and is involved in both the classic and alternative pathways of the complement cascade that function in humoral immunologic responses. Activation of the complement cascade functions in phagocytic activity, destruction of foreign bacteria, and the inflammatory response. This test evaluates the integrity of the cascade and is increased during acute-phase responses and inflammatory processes. Serial C3 levels may reflect the progress of such conditions based on the return of values to normal levels.