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$I^131$-Labelled Antigen Precipitation as a Measure of Quantity and Quality of Antibody

David W. Talmage and Paul H. Maurer
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 92, No. 3 (May - Jun., 1953), pp. 288-300
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30092288
Page Count: 13
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$I^131$-Labelled Antigen Precipitation as a Measure of Quantity and Quality of Antibody
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Abstract

A modification of the labelled antigen precipitation method of Eisen and Keston has been used to measure the antigen precipitating ability of antiserums to bovine γ globulin, bovine serum albumin and egg albumin. The results have been compared with those obtained by nitrogen analyses of the specific precipitate. The concentration of antibody was expressed in terms of μg of antigen nitrogen precipitated per ml of serum at the point of 80% antigen precipitation. A semilogarithmic plot of the fraction of antigen precipitated versus μg antigen added per ml serum gives a curve the slope of which reflects the ease with which precipitation is inhibited by excess antigen. The slope of this curve was found to vary with time after the initial injection but remained relatively constant for any individual serum despite dilution in saline or normal serum. These differences in inhibition of precipitation are thought to reflect a basic quality of the antibody, possibly its avidity. The sensitivity of the method, like that of any precipitin method, is limited by the solubility of the antigen-antibody aggregate. The advantages of this method are: (a) it consumes only 2 to 3 ml of serum and the same technique is used regardless of antibody concentration ; (b) many of the procedures required for nitrogen analysis of the precipitate may be eliminated, such as decomplementation and recentrifugation of antiserums before use; additional time is saved because only one washing of the precipitate is required, and because the actual radioactivity determinations are extremely simple; and (c) it provides results which may be used as a measure of antibody content or, when desirable, serve as a guide for quantitative precipitin nitrogen determinations.

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