A goat antibody is an antibody which is derived from a goat. Goat antibodies can be used for a variety of different tasks including research, diagnostic testing, and medical treatment. They are available from laboratories which do antibody production, with labs offering custom as well as generic antibodies for various uses. Both monoclonal and polyclonal goat antibodies are available.
Production of goat antibodies starts with inoculating a goat with an antigen. Usually several inoculations are performed, followed by titer testing to confirm that the goat is forming antibodies, and to check on the level of antibodies in the blood. Once the goat has produced enough antibodies, blood can be taken to make an antiserum which can be purified to extract the antibodies. Commonly this is accomplished by slaughtering and bleeding the goat to extract as many antibodies as possible.
Antibody purification takes place in a lab, and several different techniques can be used. In all cases, the goal is to extract pure antibodies from the antiserum. It is important to remove impurities in the antiserum, because they can interfere with the tasks for which the antibodies are being used. For example, if a goat antibody is being used to test for exposure to a particular disease, impurities could cause a false positive by binding to cells in the fluid being tested.
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When a lab produces a goat antibody for a customer, it may add some options to the product after purification. For example, the goat antibody can be conjugated with a substance which will fluoresce, acting as a tag which can be used in diagnostic testing. Specialty services usually add to the price of the goat antibody, with the lab charging fees based on the level of complexity involved.
Polyclonal goat antibodies are produced using the method discussed above. To make monoclonal antibodies, a cell which produces antibodies is grafted with a cancerous cell line which will produce cells potentially infinitely. These cloned cells produce identical antibodies which can be used in medical treatment, diagnosis, and other applications.
The turnaround time on an order for goat antibodies can vary. If a lab has a goat antibody in stock, it can ship it out relatively quickly. If it is a custom or specialty project, it can take several weeks or months. The lab can usually provide an estimate at the time an order was placed so that a researcher knows when to anticipate delivery.