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Affinity MaturationThe increased average affinity of antibodies to an antigen, which follows immunisation. Affinity maturation results from an increase of specific and more homogeneous IgG antibodies, and follows a less specific and more heterogeneous early response by IgM molecules.
The mechanism during an immune response that produces antibodies with a strong ability to bind to a foreign antigen over time. Affinity maturation is produced by changes in the genes that encode immunoglobulin G (IgG) and by increased survival of those B lymphocytes that produce antibodies with the greatest ability to destroy a particular antigen. Increased affinity occurs only when B-cell activation is stimulated by helper T cells.
See also: maturation
1. attraction; a tendency to seek out or unite with another object or substance.
2. in chemistry, the tendency of two substances to form strong or weak chemical bonds forming molecules or complexes.
3. in immunology, the thermodynamic bond strength of an antigen-antibody complex.
the strength of the binding interaction between antigen and antibody.
the attraction of a particular class of receptor to a drug, at a level sufficient to give an observable reaction. Such a drug is an agonist.
the increased affinity of antibody for an antigen which occurs during the course of an immune response.