heterophile antibody

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An antibody raised against an antigen from one species that also reacts against antigens from other species. They usually arise because the antigen is poorly defined or impure and the antibody is of low affinity, and are a common cause of problems with immunoassays. The term can also be used of systems such as the Forssman antigen where antibody against antigens from a variety of species is present without immunization.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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