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Antigen

An antigen is any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it. This means your immune system does not recognize the substance, and is trying to fight it off.

An antigen may be a substance from the environment, such as chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or pollen. An antigen may also form inside the body.

References

Craft J. The adaptive immune system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 46.

    • Antigens

      Antigens - illustration

      An antigen is a substance that can provoke an immune response. Typically antigens are substances not usually found in the body.

      Antigens

      illustration

      • Antigens

        Antigens - illustration

        An antigen is a substance that can provoke an immune response. Typically antigens are substances not usually found in the body.

        Antigens

        illustration

      Tests for Antigen

       

      Review Date: 8/26/2017

      Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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