Definition of antigen in English:



  • A toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies.

    • ‘Immunohistochemistry utilizes antibodies to visualize antigens in sections of tissue under the microscope.’
    • ‘All the conjugated peptides were injected together in white rabbits as antigens for antibody production.’
    • ‘However, the specificity of antibodies for antigens has a bearing on one of the issues in this case, and it is for that reason that I mention it.’
    • ‘Early risk may suggest a mechanism involving an aberrant immune response to cereal antigens in an immature gut.’
    • ‘We varied the surface density of antigens such that we could study the detachment of either single or multiple bonds.’
    • ‘Antibodies against these five antigens were tested in the sera of all workers and controls.’
    • ‘Once antibodies have been produced for a particular antigen they tend to remain in the body.’
    • ‘When the synthetic peptide was used as the antigen, a monoclonal antibody was obtained.’
    • ‘The immune system of a human can differentiate more than one million different foreign proteins, or antigens.’
    • ‘But Jordi found ways, using antigens and antibodies, to figure it out.’
    • ‘Alternate methods of diagnosing pneumococcal disease are based on the detection of bacterial antigens in body fluids.’
    • ‘As described above, it allows antigenic variation in its antigens to evade the host immune system.’
    • ‘As a result, the patient's immune system would produce antibodies to attack the foreign antigens.’
    • ‘Antibodies are gamma globulins produced by B lymphocytes when antigens enter the body.’
    • ‘A healthy body develops antibodies, which hopefully resist the antigens, by binding on them.’
    • ‘These cells have the potential to present tumour-specific antigens and thereby induce an immune response.’
    • ‘Previous transfusions may sensitize patients to foreign platelet antigens.’
    • ‘This is a complicated process involving antigens and antibodies.’
    • ‘Finally, the target antigens of the locally produced antibodies have not been fully identified.’
    • ‘The protein acts like an antigen, prompting the immune cells to attack.’


Early 20th century: via German from French antigène (see anti-, -gen).