Many strides have been made in the development of antibody-based detection systems for rapid and sensitive analysis of Fusarium pathogens and their toxins. Antibody cross-reactivity, specificity, and binding affinity with antigenic molecules affect the efficacy in which these molecules serve their own functions. Researchers are, therefore, directed in investigating the principles that govern crossreactivity, specificity, and the relationship between them, using various tools such as optimised ELISA. This is important because the ability of Fusarium spp. to infect and produce mycotoxins in agronomic crops passes these toxins to animals and humans after contact or ingestion. Antibodies that recognise and bind particular antigens with great affinity and specificity, especially for the effective relief of unwanted Fusarium pathogenic materials in humans and animals, are thus required. Furthermore, the demand for fungal contaminants free agriculture, emerging antifungal drug resistance, and the fatal health effects of fungal infections in immunocompromised humans and animals drive the need for the development of a rapid, sensitive, reliable, and accurate relief system for these pathogens. Therefore, this chapter provides a succinct review on the role of antibody cross-reactivity and specificity, with reference to basic principles, challenges, and detection for rapid and reliable assessment in Fusarium pathogens.
Keywords: Antibody specificity, Antigens, Cross-reactivity, ELISA, Fusarium, Immunoglobulins, Mycotoxins, Somatic hypermutation.