Advantages of using Monoclonal Antibodies:

  • Hybridoma serves as an immortal source of monoclonal antibody.
  • Same quality of the antibody is maintained amongst the different production batches.
  • Highly reproducible and scalable, unlimited production source.
  • Speed and sensitivity and specificity of assays.
  • Can produce antibodies when needed.
  • No need to worry about maintaining the animals.
  • Antigen or immunogen need not be pure.
  • Selection helps to identify the right clones against the specific antigen

Disadvantages of using Monoclonal Antibodies:

  • Time consuming project - anwhere between 6 months -9 months.
  • Very expensive and needs considerable effort to produce them.
  • Small peptide and fragment antigens may not be good antigens-monoclonal antibody may not recognize the original antigen.
  • Hybridoma culture may be subject to contamination.
  • System is only well developed for mouse and rat and not for other animals.
  • More than 99% of the cells do not survive during the fusion process – reducing the range of useful antibodies that can be produced against an antigen

Advantages of Using Polyclonal Antibodies:

  • Production is quicker.
  • Less expensive.
  • Have choice of producing antibodies in different animals.
  • Chances of getting a better response to the antigen is increased– can try different animal sources as antibody produced recognizes different epitopes on the same antigen.
  • Relatively easy to purify using affinity chromatography methods.

Disadvantages of using Polyclonal antibodies:

  • Increased chance for cross reaction – false positives.
  • Non specific interaction with the antigen- considerable heterogeneity within the antibody pool.
  • Life span of the host animal is limited.
  • Multiple animals had to be immunized against the same antigen.
  • Antibody response depends on the host animal.
  • Sometimes requires multiple control samples to arrive at meaningful conclusions

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