Antibodies

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Proteins found in the blood and other body fluids, also known as immunoglobulin; they are produced by B cells in response to the presence of antigens. Antibodies function to protect the body from disease by binding to antigens, marking them for destruction by immune cells (such as macrophages), or coating the antigen neutralising its harmful effects. Because antibodies react to specific antigens they can be used to diagnose infections. Because HIV hides within immune cells (such as macrophages and T [CD4] cells), the immune system cannot work sufficiently to rid HIV from the body.