|Overview||Substance that can induce an immune response||Proteins that recognize and bind to antigens|
|Molecule type||Usually proteins, may also be polysaccharides, lipids or nucleic acids||Proteins|
|Origin||Within the body or externally||Within the body|
The Role of Antigens & Antibodies in Vaccinations
Vaccines contain antigens which stimulate the B lymphocytes of the immune system to respond by producing plasma cells which secrete disease specific antibodies (Primary response). Some of the B cells become memory B cells, which will recognise future exposure to the disease. This results in a faster and more intense production of antibodies, which effectively work to eliminate the disease by binding to the antigens (Secondary response).