UNIT 16.2 Production of Polyclonal Antisera

  1. Helen M. Cooper1,
  2. Yvonne Paterson2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471143030.cb1602s03

Current Protocols in Cell Biology

Current Protocols in Cell Biology

How to Cite

Cooper, H. M. and Paterson, Y. 2001. Production of Polyclonal Antisera. Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 3:16.2:16.2.1–16.2.8.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, Melbourne, Australia

  2. 2

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: JUL 1999


Polyclonal antibody preparations contain multiple antibody molecules recognizing different epitopes on an antigen molecule. Good quality polyclonal antisera are useful for a number of applications–e.g., immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting, and ELISAs–where the binding of more than one antibody molecule per antigen molecule improves the sensitivity of the assay. It is possible to produce polyclonal antibodies in a variety of species, and this make it possible to detect multiple immunoreactions. The protocols in this unit describe the production of polyclonal antisera specific for protein antigens in rabbits, rats, mice, and hamsters using complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or other adjuvants. In addition, the unit presents a method for preparing serum from blood. Polyclonal antipeptide antisera can be produced by substituting carrier-conjugated peptides for the purified protein antigens.