AskDefine | Define immunogenicity

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The ability of a particular substance to provoke an immune response.

Extensive Definition

Immunogenicity is the ability of a particular substance, which is called the antigen, to provoke an immune response.


The ability to induce humoral and/or cell-mediated immune responses
The ability of antigen to elicit immune response is called “Immunogenicity”.
Antigens that do provoke the immune response are called-”immunogens”

Immunogenic potency of antigens

Lipids, nucleic acids serve as immunogens only when they are in combination with proteins/polysaccharides.
-For studies of humoral immune response – proteins/ polysaccharides are used
-For cell-mediated immunity – only proteins serve as immunogens

Factors influencing immunogenicity

->Contribution of antigen to immunogenicity
->Contribution of biological system to immunogenicity

Antigens and immunogenicity

see the diagram
Immunogenicity is influenced by multiple characteristics of an antigen:
-Foreignness: Phylogenetic distance
-Epitope density
-Chemical composition and heterogeneity
Protein structure, aa-polymers, Glu-Lys, Tyr, Phe
-Degradability (ability to be processed & presented to T cells)


immunogenicity in German: Immunogenität
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