Polyclonal antibodies are antibodies that are derived from different B-cell lines. They are a mixture of immunoglobulin molecules secreted against a specific antigen, each recognising a different epitope.
These antibodies are typically produced by immunization of a suitable mammal, such as a mouse, rabbit or goat. Larger mammals are often preferred as the amount of serum that can be collected is greater. An antigen is injected into the mammal. This induces the B-lymphocytes to produce IgG immunoglobulins specific for the antigen. This IgG is purified from the mammal’s serum.