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Antibody and Antigen


IgG is the most common type of antibody. It is the most common Ig against microbes. It acts by coating the microbe to hasten its removal by other immune system cells. It gives lifetime or long-standing immunity against infectious diseases. It is highly mobile, passing out of the blood stream and between cells, going from organs to the skin where it neutralizes surface bacteria and other invading microorganisms. This mobility allows the antibody to pass through the placenta of the mother to her fetus, thus conferring a temporary defense to the unborn child.

After birth, IgG is passed along to the child through the mother's milk, assuming that she nurses the baby. But some of the Ig will still be retained in the baby from the placental transmission until it has time to develop its own antibodies. Placental transfer of antibodies does not occur in ruminant animals, such as horses, pigs, cows, and sheep. They pass their antibodies to their offspring only through their milk.

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