Developing Polyclonal Antibodies

How Polyclonal Antibodies are Produced

Polyclonal antibodies are a mixture of several antibodies which are usually produced by various B cell clones within the body. They can recognize and bind to different epitopes on a single antigen.

Unlike production of monoclonal antibodies, developing polyclonal antibodies is a convenient and cheap method for the detection of particular antigens. To generate a quality polyclonal antiserum, SPF animals (often rabbits) are immunized repeatedly with an antigen of interest. Prior to use in the assays, polyclonal antibodies need to be purified by protein A/G or antigen purification. It's a necessary step to develop high-specificity, high-titer and high-affinity antibodies.

  • Production process of polyclonal antibodies
  • Production process of polyclonal antibodies
  • Production process of polyclonal antibodies
  • Production process of polyclonal antibodies

Fig 1. Development process of polyclonal antibodies

Sino Biological offers high quality and affordable polyclonal antibody development services, which can guarantee the serum titer of rabbit polyclonal antibody >1:64,000. We've designed multiple service packages that can fit into various customer's needs. Our service covers from antigen design to purified antibody product with a full battle of quality control testing. We offer protein A affinity purified polyclonal antibody service as well as antigen purified polyclonal antibody development service. In addition, with the support of our antibody validation platform, we offer western blot (WB) guaranteed polyclonal antibody development service and immunohistochemistry (IHC) guaranteed polyclonal antibody development service.

Our rabbit polyclonal antibody development service is based on a strong foundation that we built over years of process optimization and a strong reputation of being the most reliable antibody production service provider worldwide. We have been a preferred partner for antibody development and production service for multiple top-10 pharmaceutical companies. We have attracted customers and business through word-of-mouth.

Sino Biological also offers polyclonal antibody reagents on shelf to assist our customer's biological research and development. Our polyclonal antibodies are of the highest quality in comparison to other vendors worldwide. Detection limits for our polyclonal antibodies are usually around 0.1 ng/well. All our catalog polyclonal antibodies use recombinant proteins, instead of peptide segments, as antigens.

Differences Between Polyclonal and Monoclonal Antibodies

Both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of the polyclonal antibodies are the simple skills needed to generate polyclonal antibodies. They are inexpensive and able to be generated quickly, taking about several months to yield. Polyclonal antibodies are heterogeneous, which are able to bind to a big variety of antigen epitopes. Because polyclonal antibodies are generated from a large number of B cell clones, they are able to have strong binding to a specific antigen. Moreover, polyclonal antibodies tend to be more stable in many environmental conditions, such as a change in salt concentration or pH, which gave them the privilege to be included to several procedures.

The disadvantages of polyclonal antibodies are the differences between batches generated in different animals and times, tendency to produce hypersensitivity reactions and the cross reactivity potential due to the ability for distinguishing multiple epitopes which need affinity purification to reduce the cross reactivity.

For monoclonal antibodies, the advantages are high specificity to a single epitope, less cross reactivity, low tendency to produce hypersensitivity reactions, ability to generate huge quantities of identical antibody in the laboratory with high homogeneity from batch to batch and produce better results in the experimentations which need quantification of the protein levels.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of monoclonal antibodies are significantly more expensive to produce; more strict storage conditions needed for the precious clone, required regular cell culture lab work and purification, minor changes in the epitope's structure able to reduce the ability of the monoclonal antibody to identify the target protein or epitope. Furthermore, they tend to be more sensitive to buffer conditions and pH. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies are susceptible to changes in their binding capacity when they are labeled.

What are Polyclonal Antibodies Used for

Polyclonal antibodies have a wide range of applications in basic research and therapeutic uses.

In basic laboratory research, polyclonal antibodies are valuable tools since they are extensively used in ELISA, WB, IP and related immunohistochemical techniques.

In clinical uses, polyclonal antibodies are used in many diagnostic tests that are designed to determine whether a patient is producing antibodies in response to a particular pathogen. Also, recombinant polyclonal antibodies are used in cancer therapy due to their ability to multi-target tumor cells compared to monoclonal antibodies. Although monoclonal antibodies are widely used in cancer therapy, relapse is common due to the emergence of tumor cells that are resistant to the antibody. By using pAbs, diverse recombinant antibodies can be developed that cross-react with different types of cancers.


1. Talib, N., Salam, F., & Sulaiman, Y. (2018). Development of Polyclonal Antibody against Clenbuterol for Immunoassay Application. Molecules, 23(4), 789.
2. Lipman, N. S., Jackson, L. R., Trudel, L. J., & Weis-Garcia, F. (2005). Monoclonal versus polyclonal antibodies: distinguishing characteristics, applications, and information resources. ILAR journal, 46(3), 258-268.
3. Seida, A. A. (2017). Monoclonal Antibodies and Polyclonal Antibodies: A Brief Comparison. Adv Tech Clin Microbiol, 1, 2.

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