Production of Polyclonal Antiserum
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Polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) are a heterogeneous mixture of antibodies which are usually produced by different B-cell lymphocytes of an animal and directed towards different antigenic determinants or epitopes of the virus protein with varying affinities. Antigenically, the active part of plant virus is its coat protein, and serological tests depend on the epitopes (antigenic determinants) in the coat protein. These antibodies can recognize and bind to many different epitopes of a single virus antigen and hence can form lattices with the antigens. Rabbit, rat, mouse, guinea pig, goat, chicken and sheep are the most commonly used animals in the laboratory for pAb production. Rabbits are more preferred due to their size and relatively long-life span. The polyclonal antiserum production involves injecting purified virus preparation or coat protein of the virus either intramuscularly or intravenously to animals at weekly intervals. Antiserum containing antibodies are collected by bleeding the animal and used in serological tests. pAbs are widely used for the detection of viruses in several serological procedures. In this chapter, different steps involved in the production of pAb are discussed.
Key wordsAntigen Purified virus Coat protein Intramuscular injection Intravenous injection Antibodies Serum
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