Immune Systems Rather than Antigenic Epitopes Elicit and Produce Protective Antibodies Against HIV

  • Marc H V Van Regenmortel


It is common parlance to refer to viral antigens and their epitopes as immunogens capable of producing antibodies (Abs) against the virus that harbours them. Words have an insiduous capacity to fashion our thinking and terms like immunogen and immunogenicity do suggest that epitopes are able to generate immune responses, although they only trigger in the host a series of reactions with B-cell receptors that eventually leads to the immune system (IS) producing a variety of antibodies. Although everyone in the field is well aware that antigens are different from immunogens, it seems that in many cases investigators do not use appropriate experimental tools for studying and controlling the immunogenicity of proteins rather than their antigenicity.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc H V Van Regenmortel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BiotechnologyUniversity of StrasbourgIllkirchFrance

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