Difference Between Allergen & Antigen


An allergy is a hypersensitivity of the body's immune system. These sensitivities are usually harmless to your health but can cause discomfort. Understanding allergies requires us to look at them on a molecular level. There are many products that diffuse or suppress allergies and their symptoms, and it helps to look at them on a molecular level as well.


  • An allergen is a non-parasitic substance or matter that causes an allergic reaction when it enters the body. Pollen, dust mite excretion and pet dander are all common allergens, but anything can cause irritation. How allergens affects the body will vary in terms of severity from person to person.


  • An antigen is a substance, such as a chemical or bacteria, that triggers the production of antibodies by the immune system, which will then work to neutralize and kill it. For instance, bacteria are antigens and can be characterized on a molecular level by their capability to bond with a specific antibody. Each antibody will attack only specific antigens that have certain molecular structures.

Types of Antigens

  • An exogenous antigen is an antigen that has entered the body, either from an inhalation or ingestion, whereas as endogenous antigen is one that has been produced within normal cells as a result of infection. Autoantigens are proteins that are normally recognized by the immune system and left alone, but due to genetic or environmental factors they are attacked. This is known as an autoimmune disease.


  • Allergies are usually treated with medicine. These work inhibit the action of histamines, which attach themselves to receptors that cause irritations like a runny nose or itchy eyes.

    Treatment for antigen problems is more complex because it involves introducing certain proteins to either encourage antibody bonding or prevent autoantigen destruction.


  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images
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