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Policlonal antibodies - Strange bone or marrow illness
I have a problem with rabbits, because recently I produced policlonal antibodies in rabbit and after that he has a strange bone or marrow illness. If it possible that high amount of antibodies in rabbit's blood may affect the animals?
I will be gratefull for any help in that case.
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Polyclonal antibodies are antibodies produced by cells of B cell lineage in vivo. They are generated in response to immunization with specific antigenic epitopes. The polyclonal antibodies produced are heterogeneous mixture of antibodies against the various epitopes on antigen. They are immunologically dissimilar and can have different affinities and specificities. The most commonly produced antibody is IgG which is isolated and purified from the serum.

Polyclonal antibody production experiments have been carried out in a large variety of mammals- sheep, chickens, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, goats. Among all these mammals the selectively bred New Zealand White rabbit is preferred because of its easy handling, cost benefit and historical background. However, the selection of the mammal being used depends on the scientist, nature of experiment and is mainly chosen on the basis of following criteria:
- Amount of antibody required. Larger mammals (sheep, dogs etc) are chosen when large quantities of antibody are required.
- Desired characteristics of the antibody – class, isotope, complement fixing nature
- Relationship between antigen donor and antibody producer
- Strain selection
- Antibody usage e.g. primary antibody or secondary antibody for ELISA
Young rabbits weighing less than 3 kg and 10-15 weeks old are chosen as by this age they have almost lost the maternal antibodies and the individuals own immune system haven’t developed fully. Younger rabbits are also able to give a higher rate of antibody production as compared to older ones. Scientists prefer female rabbits because they are easy to handle and are more sensitive toward the antigens.

To answer your question, the bone marrow illness observed in the rabbit may be due to a variety of factors. Any contamination, variation in adjuvant concentration, improper handling, change in pH, microbial colonies can cause side effects. However, it is highly unlikely that the rabbit used for polyclonal antibody production is suffering due to excess antibodies.
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