The Indirect Template Theory

“(i) To account for the non-antigenicity of body components these were assumed to carry ‘ self-markers ‘; at some point in the antibody-producing sequence a ‘recognition unit’ was postulated to act as a means of detecting material carrying self-markers and deflecting it from the possibility of immune response;

(ii) To account for the persistence of antibody-producing capacity it was postulated that a ‘genocopy’ of the antigenic determinant was incorporated in the genome of the Stem cell concerned, so allowing the indefinite production of descendant antibody-producing cells;

(iii) This incorporation of pattern determinants into the genetic structure of antibody-producing cells provided some basis for the changes in antibody character that may result from secondary antigenic stimuli or simple lapse of time.”

Burnet, F.M & Fenner, F. The Production of Antibodies. Monograph of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne, 2nd Edition, 1953

International Union of Immunological SocietiesUniversity of South AfricaInstitute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineElizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids FoundationStellenbosch University