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IgM levels in West Nile infections

Why does IgM increase by four fold with west nile virus between acute and four weeks later? Please explain the pathophysiology ie. complement system.

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I will attempt to give you a more complete explanation. Let's start out with the key terms.

IgM- A large 'natural' antibody that is often the result of activation of the compliment system. It is the first antibody expressed in mature B cells. They during infections and can persist for weeks afterwards.

Complement system- This is apart of immunity that is responsible for clearing pathogenic organisms and cells from the body. It involves both acquired and innate immunity.

West Nile Virus- A virus that causes flu-like symptoms that can be fatal. There has been an increased concerned about this mosquito-born virus in North America due to its sudden appearance and infection of numerous bird species and people. This virus can can through the blood-brain barrier and cause encephalitis. Diagnosis is performed by the detection of IgM in the blood or cerebro-spinal fluids (because IgM is large and cannot cross the blood brain barrier the detection of IgM in brain fluids is an indication of an infection in that tissue).

Now to the main question, why does WNV trigger IgM production and the complement system?

Infection with the ...