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Antibodies
Antibodies


Definition:

An antibody is a type of protein. The body's immune system produces antibodies when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include microorganisms (such as as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) and chemicals.

Antibodies are also be produced when the immune system mistakenly considers healthy tissue a harmful substance. See: Autoimmune disorders

Each type of antibody is unique and defends the body against one specific type of antigen.



Information:




Review Date: 10/18/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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