How are antibodies and immunity-related?

How are antibodies and immunity-related?

Antibodies are essential to the immune system, playing a crucial role in protecting the body against harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The body’s immune system produces these specialised proteins in response to foreign substances known as antigens. When an antigen enters the body, the immune system recognises it as a threat. It initiates an immune response by producing antibodies to neutralise and remove the antigen from the body.

Antibodies are valuable in research and medicine for disease treatment and health promotion. Scientists have successfully developed two major antibody therapy types: polyclonal and monoclonal

HHC is a global leader providing a comprehensive range of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies against infectious agents. These antibodies, targeting human viral proteins, demonstrate high specificity in immunoassays. HHC’s offerings significantly contribute to antibody research, enabling the precise detection of infectious agents.

In this article, Helvetica Health Care (HHC) professionals explain the correlation between antibodies and immunity.

Please read our previous article to learn more about the differences between monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies

How do antibodies work?

Antibodies work by recognising and binding to specific molecules called antigens found on the surface of pathogens or foreign substances. When an antibody binds to an antigen, it triggers a series of immune responses to neutralise or destroy the invader. This process involves various mechanisms, including blocking the entry of pathogens into cells, marking them for destruction by other immune cells, or activating the complement system, a group of proteins that punches holes in the cell membranes of pathogens.

What are the different types of antibodies?

  • IgG (Immunoglobulin G): The most abundant antibody, IgG, can pass through the placenta, providing newborns with passive immunity. IgG is the main antibody in blood and it has a powerful ability to bind to bacteria and toxins, and takes on an important role in the biological defence system. Most antibodies approved as therapeutics are derived from IgG or variants of IgG.
  • IgA (Immunoglobulin A): Accounts for 10–15% of all immunoglobulins and is prevalent in serum, breast milk, intestinal fluid and mucosal secretions like saliva and tears. IgA protects surfaces like the respiratory tract from infection. It also  protects the gastrointestinal tract of newborns from bacterial and viral infection.
  • IgM (Immunoglobulin M): The largest antibody and the first one to be synthesized in response to an antigen or microbe, accounting for 5% of all immunoglobulins present in the blood. IgM has a key role in the initial immune system defence for protecting the body and is highly efficient at clumping antigens for phagocytosis.
  • IgE (Immunoglobulin E): Primarily involved in allergic reactions by binding to mast cells. IgE is believed to be involved in allergies such as pollinosis. IgE triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals. It is believed that IgE was originally related to immunity reactions to parasites. 
  • IgD (Immunoglobulin D): The least understood antibody class, IgD may play a role in B cell development and activation. IgD is present on the surface of B cells and is reported to play a role in the induction of antibody production and the prevention of respiratory tract infections. This isoform accounts for 70–75% of all human immunoglobulins found in the blood.

What is immunity?

Immunity is the body’s ability to resist and fight infections and diseases. It can be achieved through two main mechanisms: innate immunity, which provides immediate but nonspecific protection against a wide range of pathogens, and adaptive immunity, which develops over time and provides targeted protection against specific pathogens.

How are antibodies and immunity related?

Antibodies and Immune system

Antibodies play a central role in adaptive immunity. When the body comes across a new antigen, specialised immune cells called B lymphocytes (B cells) produce antibodies tailored to recognise and neutralise that antigen. This process, known as the adaptive immune response, leads to the development of immunological memory, where the body “remembers” how to respond to a particular antigen upon subsequent exposures. This memory allows for a faster and more effective immune response, providing long-lasting immunity against specific pathogens.

How long do antibodies provide immunity?

The longevity of antibodies in the body varies depending on factors such as the type of antibody, the specific antigen it targets, and individual immune responses. Some antibodies may persist for weeks or months, while others can provide lifelong immunity. Additionally, the presence of immunological memory ensures that the immune system can quickly produce more antibodies upon re-exposure to the same antigen, further extending the duration of protection.

How do vaccines relate to antibodies and immunity?

Vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against specific pathogens without causing disease. By introducing harmless versions of antigens or components of pathogens into the body, vaccines trigger an immune response that leads to the production of antibodies and the development of immunity. This primes the immune system to recognise and respond quickly to the actual pathogen if encountered in the future, preventing infection or reducing its severity.

Can antibodies be used to treat diseases?

Antibodies have become a powerful tool in modern medicine. Monoclonal antibodies are lab-produced antibodies designed to target specific antigens. These can be used for various therapeutic applications:

  • Immunotherapy for cancer: Monoclonal antibodies can be engineered to deliver drugs or toxins directly to cancer cells.
  • Treatment of autoimmune diseases: Antibodies can be used to block specific molecules involved in the autoimmune response.
  • Passive immunity: In some cases, pre-made antibodies (from the blood plasma of immune individuals) can be given to provide immediate protection against a particular pathogen. This is used for conditions like rabies exposure.


In conclusion, antibodies and immunity are intimately connected, protecting our bodies from harmful pathogens. 

Helvetica Health Care (HHC) offers an extensive range of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to strengthen the ongoing fight against human pathogens and viruses. These antibodies target specific viral proteins with high precision, making them ideal for various immunoassay applications. Our MONOBODIES are versatile and can be employed in ELISA, immunoblotting, and immunochemistry techniques.

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