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Antigenicity is the capacity of a chemical structure (either an antigen or hapten) to bind specifically with a group of certain products that have adaptive immunity: T cell receptors or antibodies (a.k.a. B cell receptors). Antigenicity was more commonly used in the past to refer to what is now known as immunogenicity, and the two are still often used interchangeably. However, strictly speaking, immunogenicity refers to the ability of an antigen to induce an adaptive immune response. Thus an antigen might bind specifically to a T or B cell receptor, but not induce an adaptive immune response. If the antigen does induce a response, it is an 'immunogenic antigen', which is referred to as an immunogen.


  • Cruse, Julius M.; Lewis,, Robert E. (1998). Atlas of Immunology. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 978-0849394898.