Molecules in the blood or secretory fluids that tag,
destroy, or neutralize bacteria, viruses, or other harmful toxins (antigens;
see). They are members of a class of proteins known as immunoglobulins,
which are produced and secreted by B lymphocytes (see) in response to stimulation
by antigens (see). An antibody is specific to an antigen.
Antibody (AB, Immunoglobulin, IG):SFAF
an immunoglobulin protein secreted
by activated plasma cells, which evolve from B-cells. Antibodies are present
throughout the blood and tissues; they are produced in response to stimulation
by foreign antigens as part of the body's defense against disease. Specific
antibodies bind to and act upon specific antigens; the antigen/antibody
reaction forms the basis of humoral (TH2) immunity. Neutralizing antibodies
destroy or inactivate infectious agents, while enhancing antibodies promote
infection. There are 5 classes of immunoglobulins: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG
and IgM. See also immunoglobulin A-M.
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