AskDefine | Define avidity

Dictionary Definition

avidity n : a positive feeling of wanting to push ahead with something [syn: eagerness, avidness, keenness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Greediness; strong appetite.
  2. Eagerness; intenseness of desire
    to eat with avidity
  3. The measure of the synergism of the strength individual interactions between proteins.


greediness; strong appetite
eagerness; intenseness of desire

Extensive Definition

In proteins, avidity is a term use to describe the combined strength of multiple bond interactions. Avidity is distinct from affinity, which is a term used to describe the strength of a single bond. As such, avidity is the combined synergistic strength of bond affinities rather than the sum of bonds.
It is commonly applied to antibody interaction, where multiple, weak, non-covalent bonds form between antigen and antibody. Individually, each bond is quite readily broken, however when many are present at the same time the overall effect results in synergistic, strong binding of antigen to antibody (ex: IgM is said to have low affinity but high avidity because it has 10 weak binding sites as opposed to the 2 strong binding sites of IgG, IgE, and IgD).
If the clustered proteins form a matrix, such as a clathrin-coat, the interaction is described by the term matricity.

External links


  • Roitt, Ivan, et al., Immunology, 6th edn, 2001, Mosby Publishers, page 72.
avidity in German: Avidität
avidity in Hungarian: Aviditás
avidity in Russian: Авидность

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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