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Search Health Information    Antigen

Antigen

An antigen is a substance (such as part of a virus or bacteria) that triggers the immune system to produce cells (antibodies) that attack and try to destroy the antigen. The body usually produces one specific type of antibody for each antigen.

Sometimes the body mistakenly recognizes its own tissue as an antigen or foreign substance and produces antibodies against its own tissue. This is called an autoimmune response or autoimmune disease.

Current as of: March 12, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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