The antibody level in the blood is a reflection of the body's past experience or exposure to an antigen, or something that the body does not recognize as self. Every living cell has different protein markers on its surface called antigens, and the body's immune system identifies those cells that are not part of its structure by those surface proteins.
Review Date 4/17/2018
Updated by: Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.