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Learning objectives

  • Compare the method of development, use, and characteristics of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies
  • Explain the nature of antibody cross-reactivity and why this is less of a problem with monoclonal antibodies

Part 1

In an unfortunate incident, a healthcare worker struggling with addiction was caught stealing syringes of painkillers and replacing them with syringes filled with unknown substances. The hospital immediately fired the employee and had him arrested; however, two patients that he had worked with later tested positive for HIV.

While there was no proof that the infections originated from the tainted syringes, the hospital’s public health physician took immediate steps to determine whether any other patients had been put at risk. Although the worker had only been employed for a short time, it was determined that he had come into contact with more than 1300 patients. The hospital decided to contact all of these patients and have them tested for HIV.

  • Why does the hospital feel it is necessary to test every patient for HIV?
  • What types of tests can be used to determine if a patient has HIV?

Jump to the next Clinical Focus box.

In addition to being crucial for our normal immune response, antibodies provide powerful tools for research and diagnostic purposes. The high specificity of antibodies makes them an excellent tool for detecting and quantifying a broad array of targets, from drugs to serum proteins to microorganisms. With in vitro assays , antibodies can be used to precipitate soluble antigens, agglutinate (clump) cells, opsonize and kill bacteria with the assistance of complement, and neutralize drugs, toxins, and viruses.

An antibody’s specificity results from the antigen-binding site formed within the variable regions —regions of the antibody that have unique patterns of amino acids that can only bind to target antigens with a molecular sequence that provides complementary charges and noncovalent bonds. There are limitations to antibody specificity, however. Some antigens are so chemically similar that cross-reactivity occurs; in other words, antibodies raised against one antigen bind to a chemically similar but different antigen. Consider an antigen that consists of a single protein with multiple epitopes ( [link] ). This single protein may stimulate the production of many different antibodies, some of which may bind to chemically identical epitopes on other proteins.

Cross-reactivity is more likely to occur between antibodies and antigens that have low affinity or avidity . Affinity, which can be determined experimentally, is a measure of the binding strength between an antibody's binding site and an epitope, whereas avidity is the total strength of all the interactions in an antibody-antigen complex (which may have more than one bonding site). Avidity is influenced by affinity as well as the structural arrangements of the epitope and the variable regions of the antibody. If an antibody has a high affinity/avidity for a specific antigen, it is less likely to cross-react with an antigen for which it has a lower affinity/avidity.

Questions & Answers

What is microbiology
Ashaq Reply
is the branch that deals with microorganisms
Nakaweesi
what is immune system
Terfa Reply
cells and proteins that defends the body
KAREN
?
Vikki
what is fermentation example ?
Sonal Reply
is proceess in which an agent couses of an oganic substances breakdown into simpler substance,especially in aneorobic breakdown of suger into alcohol.
Okashat
is it better to study microbiology and then medicine it makes no difference to go directly to medicine?
Jessee Reply
Dray's mathdme cell wall konse color k hote he
Jinal Reply
what is dray's mathdme cell wall
Prabhat
I confused. please help me
Karen
just confused
Raj
that is dyar's method of cell wall staining
ART___
Cetylpyridinium chloride ionize in water to form positively charged cetylpyridinium and negatively charged  chloride ions. As bacterial cell wall is negatively charged, the positively charged ions of cetylpyridinium  are adsorbed on the cell wall making it positively charged. Subsequent treatment w
ART___
l don't understand it please explain it for me.
Karen Reply
epitopes are present on the surface of
Rohit Reply
at the tip of variable region on the antibody...where antigen and antibody binding sites combine...
Fiza
The term that is used refer to moving microbes under a microscope are referred to as?
Lee Reply
motile
ART___
Members of the genus Neisseria cause which of the folowing human diseases?
Farah Reply
genital infections
Kamaluddeen
gonorrhoea
sandip
gonorrhoea
Jessee
4. Which of the following specimens should not be refrigerated? a. Urine b. Urogenital swab
Zahraa Reply
urine
Muuse
urine
Agatha
Urine
Tean
urine
Yasser
Urine
Ebtehal
urine
anamika
urine
Puja
urine
Inemesit
urine
Samuel
Urine
Muhammad
Details about McConkey agar
Muhammad
urine
SK
urine
urine can be refrigerated for 24hours but only in sealed container...or else the microbes will multiply itself
ART___
what is bacteria
anamika Reply
a member of large number of unicellular microorganism which have cell wall but lack of cell organelles an oranised nucleus including somewhat can cause disease
Sukhdeep
Bacteria are usually composed of one cell onl to that are neither plants nor animals, microscopic, that may cause diseases or may be beneficial(in gut)... it depends upon their weapons. Nearly all animal life is dependent on Bacteria for their survival
Fiza
thanks
anamika
what factor make bacteria colony large and how could we sterlise it in large scale
fatty
nutrient concentration temp gaseous conc ph ion or salt concentration mositure condition factors contribute to make large colony. by autoclaving we will sterilize bactetia
Sukhdeep
Colony is actually visible growth of Bacteria that is as a result of suitable environment for growth i.e optimal conditions for growth, temperature, moisture etc. there're many methods to get rid of bacteria. If We stop giving them optimal conditions for living Bacteria will die soon .
Fiza
what's the difference between an antigen and a pathogen?
Pathogens are organisms that cause disease in other organisms whereas Antigen is a part of a pathogen that triggers the immune response..
Rajat
so it is the antigen that dendritic cells present to the T cells and not the pathogen itself?
no no antigen are the west product or part of the pathogen. in such case bacteria it self fight with over immune response & in another case bacteria release antigens
vasava
& other antigen like pollan grain, dust particles etc.....
vasava
pathogen are microbes that can infect the body and causw illness....antigens are the part of pathogens that alert the body to an infection
Sukhdeep
antigen is a part of blood and pathogen is foreign particle which causes diseases
Yogyata
antigen could be non microorganism.... where as pathogen is mixroorganism
tadesse
Thanks
Karen
a pathogen is a disease causing organism while an antigen is a protein in the white blood cells which combats pathogens.
Jessee
pathogens produce antigen which attacks the cell of the host ...the antigens are proteins and are present on the surface of the pathogen
ART___
a pathogen produce antigen which attacks the cell of the host while antigens are proteins in the white blood cells which combat pathogens
Madrine
what type of widal test
sobhit Reply
this test determine for typhoid in this test if H,O antigen are present that indicate the positive test bac. are salmonella typhy
vasava
what h.o denotes
Iqra
o: body of bacteria, h: flagellate
Explain Mould
Chinenye Reply
Explain mycoses and it's classification
Chinenye
why do we have hiccups?
Manisha Reply
shakey diaphragm
Curlisse

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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