Difference Between Monoclonal Antibodies and Polyclonal Antibodies

Antibodies give protection against infections. Basically the body has specific immune system, which acts against specific antigens. The immune system will identify the foreign bodies. Then it will decide whether the foreign body will harm the own tissue. If immune system identify the tissue as harmful one, it will produce the immune reaction. Antibody production is a part of the immune reaction. The B lymphocytes will be activated to produce antibodies. The B cells may identify the foreign body when the antigen presenting cell produces the parts of the foreign bodies to the B cell. Depending on the presentation the antibodies will be against the specific part of the foreign body. In other words the B cell produces antibody for an antigen targeting the various part of the antigen.

The B cells will divide and form similar cells.These cell will produce the same antibody. The B cell which is activated for a different part of the antigen also divide and produces the new cells. The cell line which is produced by a B cell named as a CLONE. The antigen may activate various B cells and these cells divides and form multiple clones. This will be named as poly clone of the B cells.

In last century, the poly clonal antibodies are produced for medical purposes by injecting the foreign body to an animal/ bird ( horse, pig, chicken ) and collect the antibodies from their serum ( Blood). The antibodies are purified and used in human. However as these antibodies also foreign to human, it caused allergic reactions and antibody formation against antibody.

The genetic advancement provides the genetic engineering. The recombinant technology helped the scientist to insert the piece of DNA into bacteria plasmids and produces antibodies. Nowadays the antibodies are produced by recombinant technology.

Mono clonal antibodies are produced by only one cell line (clone) . The most effective antibody producing B cell will be selected and only that antibodies are collected. This will help to reduces the side effect of the antibodies and increase the effects of the antibodies.

In medical terms the commercial antibodies are collectively named as IMMUNOGLOBULIN.

In summary,

• The human body can produce antibodies to protect the body from the foreign body.

• The antibodies can be prepared commercially and these antibodies are called Immunoglobulins.

• The polyclonal antibodies are produced by various clones of the B lymphocytes.

• Monoclonal antibodies are collected from only one clone of B cell.

• Recombinant technology helps to produce antibodies.