Everything You Must Know About Antibodies

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Our body has an inbuilt intruder system known as the immune system. Antibodies play an important role in fighting against any germ or virus trying to affect your body. These are crucial to one’s health and are needed in sufficient amounts. So, here’s everything you must know about antibodies.

Where are antibodies made?

Although antibodies are formed naturally inside the body, nowadays, they are also made artificially by an antibody production company. Antibodies keep your body secure, and their deficiency leads to your body being susceptible to diseases.

Our bodies have trillions of cells called B-cells. Each B-cell has a unique antibody on its surface. These cells then patrol our body, looking for any foreign substance. They generally patrol sensitive areas like lymph nodes or tonsils for longer.

Most of the time, they are idle, but when they do find an alien substance, they get activated. B-cells then start growing and dividing themselves into identical parts. As a result, expanded cells turn into plasma cells, and each cell produces antibodies at the rate of 10000 per second. This process can go for weeks or even years, depending on your health.

What do antibodies look like?

There is not a clear answer to that. Antibodies come in 5 variations – mainly lgG, lgM, lgA, lgD and lgE. Each variation has a slightly different shape from each other. 

The most basic antibody, which is lgG, is just a single Y. The upper part of Y binds with antigens while the lower part connects with multiple immune system compounds to help kill the antigen. Contrary to lgG, lgM has 5 Ys stacked together. 

lgG and lgM are made to circulate in the blood and reach organs. While lgE triggers responses to allergic substances, lgD activates the antibody-producing cells.

How do antibodies work?

As you already know, our bodies create multiple types of antibodies, each for a specific purpose. These antibodies cling themselves to the body of the invader. Each antibody performs different tasks. Some antibodies infect the invaders to kill them instantly. Others tag these pathogens and let the white blood cells take care of them. Antibodies also communicate with the immune system to release macrophages which eat these cells as a whole.

There is something called monoclonal antibodies as well which are made to fight against a specific type of enemy. Companies inject a dead virus into a living subject which triggers their immune system. The body will adapt to the virus and make better antibodies to curb it. These B-cells are later filtered out, and we now have an antibody-producing factory that works wonderfully against that single pathogen.

Why are antibody tests done?

These tests detect the antibodies that your body has made in the past few days. By checking what kind of antibodies they are, that person can be diagnosed with certain diseases or viruses. 

These tests can also be used to detect whether a person has had a certain disease or not. With a pandemic on our heads, these tests proved to be a lifesaver.

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