from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See complement.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A protective substance that exists in the serum or other bodily fluid and is capable of killing microorganisms; complement.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A term originally introduced by Buchner to designate certain substances present in normal blood-serum which are capable of destroying various foreign cellular elements, such as bacteria, red blood-corpnscles, etc.
In 1900, he ascertained that, with the help of its specific antibody, the substance used to produce immunity fixes the alexin or complement in such a way that, when proportions between the three bodies are favourable, the complement disappears completely from the mixture.
In such a case, there form in the guinea-pig antibodies which, in the presence of alexin or complement, have a destructive action on the red corpuscles of the rabbit, but not on those of other animals.
It becomes "bactericidal," produces a bactericidal poison (called an alexin) which is usually present in normal blood, but is greatly increased when large numbers of certain poisonous microbes (_e. g._ those of typhoid fever) get into the blood.
After we tried we can arrive at a conclusion and not before. alexin
a body formed at the time of immunization, the bacteriolytic antibody, and of a substance present in normal serum and not under the influence of immunization, the alexin or the complement.