Biochemistry - Antigen - Discussion

Discussion :: Antigen - Section 1 (Q.No.12)


The antibiotic penicillin is a small molecule that does not induce antibody formation. However, penicillin binds to serum proteins and forms a complex that in some people induces antibody formation resulting in an allergic reaction. Penicillin is therefore

[A]. an antigen
[B]. a hapten
[C]. an immunogen
[D]. both an antigen and a hapten

Answer: Option D


No answer description available for this question.

K Gul said: (Jul 21, 2015)  
In my opinion penicillin should be a hapten. It can not induce antibody formation by its own so it can not be a antigen.

Musoma Jesse said: (May 18, 2018)  
A hapten is a molecule that is not immunogenic but it has antigenicity property. So for this case Penicillin is HAPTEN.

Kirunda Daniel said: (Nov 16, 2018)  
I correct answer is D, because an antigen is a substance which is specifically bound by antibodies or T-lymphocyte antigen receptors and further still which can stimulate the production of or gets recognized by antibodies. Meanwhile, a hapten is a low molecular weight compound which binds with antibodies but does not induce an immune response.

So in this case, a penicillin can specifically bound with antibodies and may produce antibodies in those who react or may not in many people who do not react to penicillins. And in those individuals in whom it does not induce an immune response, its simply a hapten.

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