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a chemical substance by which the body recognizes the presence of a foreign, or invading agent.
The cells of the body (all part of the immune system) which "recognize" antigens
then work in concert to product "antibodies" (a separate class of immune defense
cells) to fight off the invader --
a process sometimes loosely referred to the "humoral response" (antigen
immune response). Antigens can come from toxins, microbes (bacteria, viruses, yeast, etc.),
foreign blood cells, and cells of transplated organs.