Home » Resources » Dictionary » Terms

Definition - What does immunochemical mean?

Immunochemical is a term used to describe the chemical interactions and actions of antigens and antibodies. For example, the reaction of an antibody to an antigen is referred to as an immunochemical reaction.

The study of these immunochemical reactions and related science is referred to as immunochemistry. This field of study focuses on the immune system and immune responses. Using what is known about immunochemistry, scientists can create tests that detect the presence of specific antigens in a test specimen such as blood or saliva.

Immunoassay tests used to detect drugs examine the immunochemical reaction of drug- or drug metabolite- specific antibodies to determine whether the target drug is present.

SureHire explains immunochemical

Immunochemical reactions are those that involve antigens and antibodies. These reactions are functions of the immune system. The reactions between antigens and antibodies are deemed chemical because the interaction occurs at a molecular level.

Antigens are defined as any substance that triggers an immune response, meaning that the body produces antibodies to the substance. During a reaction, specific antigens chemically bond with corresponding antibodies.

Most healthy individuals' bodies will produce antibodies in response to illness-causing viruses or bacteria. The antibody fights the disease by binding to the antigen.

However, an antigen does not have to pose a specific health threat for an antibody to respond to it. By creating customized antibodies, designed to respond only to a selected substance, immunochemical reactions can be used to detect the presence of that substance.

Subscribe to SureNews!

Get your Reasonable Suspicion Checklist! Join our community and get access to more resources like this! Emails are sent monthly, so no need to worry, we will not fill up your inbox.