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difference-between-allergen-antigen Mohamed Eletrebi


Allergen An allergen is a non-parasitic substance or matter that causes an allergic reaction when it enters the body. Pollen, dust mite excretion and pet dander are all common allergens, but anything can cause irritation. How allergens affects the body will vary in terms of severity from person to person.


Antigen An antigen is a substance, such as a chemical or bacteria, that triggers the production of antibodies by the immune system, which will then work to neutralize and kill it. For instance, bacteria are antigens and can be characterized on a molecular level by their capability to bond with a specific antibody. Each antibody will attack only specific antigens that have certain molecular structures.

Types of Antigens:

Types of Antigens An exogenous antigen is an antigen that has entered the body, either from an inhalation or ingestion, whereas as endogenous antigen is one that has been produced within normal cells as a result of infection. Autoantigens are proteins that are normally recognized by the immune system and left alone, but due to genetic or environmental factors they are attacked. This is known as an autoimmune disease. l

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Basically, antigens are categorized as self-antigen and non-self-antigen. Self-antigens are tolerated by the immune system while the non-self-antigens are identified as invaders and can be attacked by the immune system. Non self-antigens include egg white, pollen from the organs, and transplanted tissues.

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At the molecular level, an antibody has the antigen binding site, in which, the antigen has the ability to bind. These triggers the response of different antibodies based on its match like a lock and key. An Immunogenic is an example for a specific type of antigen which is able to induce the immune response. The two types of antigens are exogenous and endogenous. Exogenous antigens enter the body from outside. E.g. by ingestion or inhalation. These are taken into the antigen present cells by endocytosis and then exocytosis process it into fragments. Endogenous forms within the normal cells by cell metabolism or viral intracellular bacterial infection.

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