Using reducing agents like dithiothreitol (DTT) 2.5 mM IgM lose their ability to bind antigens but they can be still detected by an anti-IgM antiserum. IgA are more resistant to reduction than IgM but using higher concentrations of DTT they lose both the ability to bind antigens and the possibility to be detected by an anti-IgA antiserum. Because of this fact IgA after mild reduction can result more or less inactivated according to the method employed to detect them. Using ELISA or similar methods that need an immunological detection of preformed immune complexes IgA-Ag, the loss of activity is more marked than using techniques such as HAI that detect them directly.
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