because it precipitates with the C substance, a polysaccharide of pneu- mococci. However, it was found that CRP rises sharply whenever there is tissue necrosis, whether the damage originates from a pneumococcal infection or some other source. This led to the discovery that CRP recognizes and binds to molecular groups found on a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. CRP bound to bacteria promotes the binding of complement, which facilitates their uptake by phagocytes. This process of protein coating to enhance phagocytosis is known as opsonization.