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Immunisation – Choice of host, adjuvants and boosting schedules with emphasis on polyclonal antibody production

Delahaut, Philippe
Methods 2017 v.116 pp. 4-11
adjuvants, animal welfare, anti-inflammatory activity, antibody formation, antiserum, biosensors, blood serum, color, fluorescence, food processing, humans, immunization, immunosuppression, organ transplantation, pain, polyclonal antibodies, quality control, rabies, radionuclides, tetanus, venoms, veterinary medicine
Polyclonal antibodies are frequently used as immunodiagnostic tools in fundamental research. They are also used for routine diagnostic purposes in human and veterinary medicine and for quality control procedures in the food-processing industry.The antibody is a major component of the detection system. It binds with the molecule to be identified. This conjugate is subsequently revealed by means of binding the antibody with a radio-isotope, a fluorescent substance, an enzyme inducing a color change, or a biosensor based analytical system.Polyclonal antibodies are also used for treatment purposes in various pathologies. They might have immunomodulating or anti-inflammatory properties. Snake venom, rabies and tetanus antisera are examples of a therapeutic application; immunosuppressive antithymocyte serum used in order to avoid rejection in organ transplantation is another example from human medicine.These therapeutic aids need hyperimmunisation of animals. Since these are subject to a certain number of interventions such as injections and blood samplings, animal welfare prescriptions have to be taken into account.The optimisation of the immunisation protocol allows for reducing the numbers of animals used as well as reducing stress and pain while obtaining high quality antibodies.This article describes the critical steps in polyclonal antibody production with a particular focus on the choice of the animal species, the age of the subjects, the injection protocol and the sampling times.