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antigen

Pronunciation: an′ti-jen

Definition: Any substance that, as a result of coming in contact with appropriate cells, induces a state of sensitivity or immune responsiveness and that reacts in a demonstrable way with antibodies or immune cells of the sensitized subject in vivo or in vitro. Modern usage tends to retain the broad meaning of antigen, employing the terms “antigenic determinant” or “determinant group” for the particular chemical group of a molecule that confers antigenic specificity.

Synonym(s): immunogen

[anti(body) + G. -gen, producing]

See Also: hapten

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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