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Flow Cytometry and Immunospeak

Rosenthal, Kenneth S. PhD*; Wilkinson, Julie G. MS†

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.idc.0000269912.87477.30
Immunology/Microbiology for ID

The inventions of monoclonal antibodies and flow cytometry brought immunology out of the descriptive and into the biochemical and molecular biological era. These inventions also created a vocabulary and grammar for immunology, immunospeak, that can be confusing and a hurdle to understanding for the outsider. As a tourist to the field of immunology, there are important terms, types of cells, molecules, and responses in immunospeak, which, like words and phrases in a tourist guide, can allow communication with immunology and immunologists. This review provides a description of flow cytometry, monoclonal antibodies, and a tourist guide to immunospeak which describes key cytokines, cells, and cellular determinants that determine immune responses.

Author Information

*Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, OH and †Beckman Coulter, Inc, Custom BioPharma Solutions, Miami, FL.

The author (K.S.R.) has research support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

This is the fifth in a continuing series of articles in the new Immunology and Microbiology: Clinical Correlations section. The purpose of this section is to highlight basic science explanations for microbial disease, disease signs, and symptoms, immunology, and interventions. We welcome your input regarding potential topics for discussion, and they can be relayed to my e-mail address,

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kenneth S. Rosenthal, PhD, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 4209 SR 44, Rootstown, OH 44272. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.