Autoimmune Antibodies

An autoantibody is an antibody (a type of protein) produced by the immune system that is directed against one or more of the individual's own proteins. Normally, the immune system is able to recognize and ignore the body's own healthy proteins, cells, and tissues, and to not overreact to non-threatening substances in the environment, such as foods. The immune system ceases to recognize one or more of the body's normal constituents as "self," leading to production of pathological auto antibodies. These auto antibodies attack the body's own healthy cells, tissues, and/or organs, causing inflammation and damage. Autoantibody tests may be ordered as part of an investigation of chronic progressive arthritis type symptoms and/or unexplained fevers, fatigue, muscle weakness and rashes. The Antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is often ordered first. ANA is a marker of the autoimmune process – it is positive with a variety of different autoimmune diseases but not specific. Antibody Profiling is used for identifying persons from forensic samples. The technology can uniquely identify a person by analyzing the antibodies in body fluids.

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