GLOSSARY: Antibody Production

Antibody Production, for example, is when animals produce antibodies in response to proteins or other molecules (termed immunogens) recognized as foreign by their immune system. The antibodies are secreted into the plasma by B cells that are able to interact with the immunogen. The intensity of the response is determined by several factors including the size of the immunogen molecule, its chemical characteristics, and how different it is from the animal's own proteins. Most natural immunogens are proteins. The antibody response increases with repeated exposure to the immunogen, so a series of injections at regular intervals is needed to achieve both high levels of antibody production and antibodies of high affinity.