An antibody is a protein made by the body that latches onto foreign bacteria and viruses to make them ineffective. Each antibody is designed to target a particular opponent.

A powerful part of the body’s immune system, an antibody is produced when the body senses an invader — called an antigen that it doesn’t think should be there. The body then sends out the antibody to neutralize it. Don’t think of an antibody as being anti or “against” your body; think of the body in the word antibody as the antigen, or foreign body that is being fought. Known antibodies have been especially useful in the creation of vaccines.

Definitions of antibody
  1. noun
    any of a large variety of proteins normally present in the body or produced in response to an antigen which it neutralizes, thus producing an immune response
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    an antibody acting against tissues of the organism that produces it
    an antibody that causes precipitation when it unites with its antigen
    ABO antibodies
    blood type antibodies
    Rh antibody
    rhesus factor antibody
    an antibody that can neutralize a specific toxin
    an antibody that causes agglutination of a specific antigen
    Forssman antibody, heterophil antibody, heterophile antibody
    an antibody found in the blood of someone suffering from infectious mononucleosis
    alloantibody, isoantibody
    an antibody that occurs naturally against foreign tissues from a person of the same species
    monoclonal, monoclonal antibody
    any of a class of antibodies produced in the laboratory by a single clone of cells or a cell line and consisting of identical antibody molecules
    an antibody in blood serum that attaches to invading microorganisms and other antigens to make them more susceptible to the action of phagocytes
    Ig, immune gamma globulin, immune globulin, immune serum globulin, immunoglobulin
    a class of proteins produced in lymph tissue in vertebrates and that function as antibodies in the immune response
    rheumatoid factor
    autoantibody that is usually present in the serum of people with rheumatoid arthritis
    antivenene, antivenin
    an antitoxin that counteracts the effects of venom from the bite of a snake or insect or other animal
    tetanus antitoxin
    antitoxin given for short-term immunization against tetanus in cases of possible exposure to the tetanus bacillus
    an antibody produced by one individual that causes agglutination of red blood cells in other individuals of the same species
    Remicade, infliximab
    a monoclonal antibody (trade name Remicade) used to treat Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis; administered by infusion; use and dosage must be determined by a physician
    IgA, immunoglobulin A
    one of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins; the chief antibody in the membranes of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts
    IgD, immunoglobulin D
    one of the five major classes of immunoglobulins; present in blood serum in small amounts
    IgE, immunoglobulin E
    one of the five major classes of immunoglobulins; present primarily in the skin and mucous membranes
    IgG, immunoglobulin G
    one of the five major classes of immunoglobulins; the main antibody defense against bacteria
    IgM, immunoglobulin M
    one of the five major classes of immunoglobulins; involved in fighting blood infections and in triggering production of immunoglobulin G
    tetanus immune globulin, tetanus immunoglobulin
    sterile solution of globulins derived from the blood plasma of a person who has been immunized for tetanus; provides short-term immunization against tetanus in cases of possible exposure to the tetanus bacillus
    type of:
    any of a large group of nitrogenous organic compounds that are essential constituents of living cells; consist of polymers of amino acids; essential in the diet of animals for growth and for repair of tissues; can be obtained from meat and eggs and milk and legumes
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