Techniques Available to Prepare Monoclonal Antibodies Directed Toward Fungal Polysaccharide Antigens

  • Edouard Drouhet
  • Jean-Paul Latge


Fungal polysaccharides are among the most important antigens involved in humoral immunity reactions developed during the course of human and animal mycoses. These antigens circulate in the body fluids and usually induce the production of specific antibodies. The serodiagnosis of human mycoses is often based on the recognition of these antigens by specific antibodies (Mackenzie, 1983). Reference antibodies are usually produced in experimental animals (rabbit, goat, sheep) and are polyclonal. The characteristic of the polyclonal antibodies is by definition its heterogeneity. Most of the antibodies recognize different antigenic determinants on the same antigen while those directed toward the same determinant generally use different combining sites. This degree of heterogeneity is such that it is quiet impossible to obtain two different sera with identical antibody populations even from the same individual. This difficulty of standardization limits the use of polyclonal antibodies. The ideal reagent would originate from an unique clone of B lymphocytes, according to the clonal selection theory of Burnet: one B lymphocyte - one antibody molecule. Moreover the sensitivity and specificity of the polyclonal systems used to detect antigens are often low: sometimes the number of antigens recognized is limited and cross - reactions between related or even dissimilar fungi are frequent. For example, the galactomannan containing antigen C of Histoplasma capsulatum share antigenic determinants with similar antigens present in Blastomyces dermatitidis, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and even Alternaria (Azuma et al., 1974). The detection of circulating antigens which is the most current challenge to diagnose a fungal infection in immunocompromised host, is very difficult using polyclonal antibodies because of the very low amount of antigen present in the body fluids.


Candida Albicans Spleen Cell Cryptococcus Neoformans Share Antigenic Determinant Hybrid Cell Line 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edouard Drouhet
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Latge
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Pasteur, Unite de MycologieParisFrance

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