Seventy-four monoclonal antibodies (McAb) of putative specificity for human IgG (11), the IgG sub-classes (59) or Gm allotypes (4) have been evaluated for reactivity and specificity in eight laboratories employing different assay techniques or protocols. For the IgG, IgG3, IgG4, G1m(f) and G3m(u) specificities McAb have been produced that can be satisfactorily applied in most methodologies employed and have potential as reference reagents. The IgG1 and particularly IgG2 specificities proved problematical with all McAb evaluated demonstrating apparent assay restriction and whilst performing well in some assays proved to be poor or inactive reagents in others. However, the study identifies McAb individually suited to application within most commonly employed methodologies. Epitope display is the probable variability rather than capricious behaviour by the McAb. IgG1 and IgG2 were the least immunogenic of the sub-class proteins and there is evidence that epitope display is influenced by the physical and chemical procedures used to immobilize or fix antigen - a common requirement in the assay systems studied.
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