An article before "antigen"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by takashi0930, Jan 14, 2018 at 6:55 AM.

  1. takashi0930 Senior Member

    Japanese
    This is from the New England Journal of Medicine.

    I would recommend an assay for the detection of adenovirus antigen or a polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) test of the bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid.

    "Antigen" is a countable noun. Why is there no article before "adnovirus antigen"?
     
  2. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Antigen can be countable, but in this case it is not.
     
  3. takashi0930 Senior Member

    Japanese
    Is it uncountable when you say "XXXvirus antigen"?
     
  4. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    In this example yes. But in another setting we could use an article: We can distinguish the adenovirus antigen from the adenovirus core protein using this immunoassay.
     
  5. takashi0930 Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you. Why is "the" necessary in your example?
     

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