If you must know the uses of antibodies, you must first understand what they are. Here let’s take a look.
What Are Antibodies?
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that are produced as a result of your immune system’s response to infection. These Y-shaped proteins aid in the elimination of disease-causing microorganisms from the body. This elimination is achieved by destroying them or preventing them from infecting the body cells.
www.bosterbio.com tells us what these special agents in our bodies are and what they can do.
Antibodies are the special army the body has that searches and destroys foreign microorganisms that try to invade the body. If you are an ardent user of computers, you would discover that your windows have a windows defender that searches for viruses once your PC is on and puts up a firewall against the invasion of these viruses. This is exactly what the antibodies are; they are your body’s windows defender. Let’s look at the uses of these wonderful soldiers in and out of the body.
Uses of Antibodies
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In The Body
Antibodies have three major functions in the body and they are;
- Antibodies bacterial cells by punching holes in the bacteria’s cell wall after activating the complement system. This is called ‘lysis’.
- Once the body is infected, antibodies are secreted into the blood and mucous membrane. There, they fight foreign bodies such as toxins and pathogens by binding to and inactivating them. This is termed neutralization.
- Antibodies carry out what is known as opsonization by facilitating the phagocytosis of the foreign bodies which has attacked the body.
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Apart from being the body’s special soldiers, antibodies are used in medicine for several groundbreaking research. According to news-medical.net, antibodies have quite a lot of things that they are used for in disease diagnosis and therapies. They include;
- Disease Diagnosis and Therapies
- Treatment of Rhesus factor issues
- Protein Engineering
Disease Diagnosis and therapy
The fast-growing technology has given rise to the use of antibodies in various formats for the diagnosis and therapy of diseases. Antibody-based diagnostic tests are known as immunoassays.
- Immunoassays: These assays are the most common confirmatory diagnostic tests which help to determine the presence or absence of disease. The use of these antibody tests can tell whether an infection occurred a long time ago in a patient. An example of immunoassay is the estimation of Lyme disease in the blood. Antibodies are screened before a blood transfusion can occur to find out if the blood is contaminated. Immunoassays are used to screen for health conditions such as; Psoriasis, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, multiple sclerosis, Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Immunoassays are most times easily achieved with any of the top Elisa testing service Some of which use bca protein estimation kit to estimate protein levels in the body.
- Radio-labeled antibodies can be used for screening enzymes, whole cells, and receptors.
- Monoclonal antibodies are used in therapy; this is known as immunotherapeutics
- Antibodies are used before and during childbirth to treat Rhesus factor problems: The Rhesus factor antigen which is found on the red blood cell can lead to complications in pregnancy. The presence of this antigen means the individual is Rhesus-positive (Rh+) but its absence makes an individual Rhesus-negative (Rh-). Complications during pregnancy, prenatal or delivery trauma can cause a mixture of both mother and child’s blood. Now, in the case of mother and child Rhesus incompatibility, where the fetus is Rh+ and the mother is Rh-, a mixture of blood can activate an attack of the child’s Rh+ antigen on the Rh- mother. This in turn puts the pregnancy in danger and subsequently, the mother may lose her pregnancies as a result of hemolysis. Cases such as this require the use of Rho antibodies which are specific for treating the Thesis D antigen in humans. These Rho antibodies are given to the mother during prenatal visits to prevent any form of sensitization that may happen to an Rh- mother who is carrying an Rh+ baby.
- Antibodies for protein engineering in industries: In industries, information gotten from the use of antibodies for structure prediction is used in protein engineering of a particular antibody. It’s also used for the identification of an epitope and modification of the antigen-binding affinity of that antibody. One common method used to know the actual structure of an antibody is known as X-ray crystallography. Therefore antibodies are used to determine biomolecular structures.