Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine

ANTIGENS

Substances which are capable, under appropriate conditions, of inducing a specific immune response and of reacting with the commodity of that response, that is, with specific antibodies or specifically sensitised T-lymphocytes, or both. Antigens may be soluble substances, such as toxins and foreign proteins, or particulates, such as bacteria and tissue cells; however, only the portion of the protein or polysaccharide molecule known as the antigenic determinant (epitopes) combines with antibody or a specific receptor on a lymphocyte.
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