the binding of an antibody to its particular antigen with the purpose of destroying it The bound antibody renders the foreign substance more susceptible to degradation by immune cells, and therefore protects the body. For example, antigens are often subject to engulfment by phagocytic cells. Once the individual's immune system has developed antibodies to fight a certain type of antigen, the antibodies can be mobilized more quickly. This is the rational for injecting individuals with bacteria during vaccinations See also immune response.
ANTIGEN-ANTIBODY REACTION: "The antigen-antibody reaction occurs when a foreign substance enters the body, and the natural defenses work to break it down."