A small molecule that, when combined with a larger carrier such as a protein, can elicit the production of antibodies that bind specifically to it (in the free or combined state).
- It is likely that low-molecular-weight agents act as haptens, combining with human proteins in the respiratory tract to become complete immunogens.
- Supporting this is the discovery by Vojdani et al., who reported that some individuals develop allergic antibodies to haptens formed in response to MTBE binding to albumin.
- The bound microparticle complexes are then incubated with antidetection hapten alkaline phosphatase conjugate, which binds to the detection haptens.
Early 20th century: from Greek haptein 'fasten'.
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