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  • Any area of the surface of an antigen to which a particular antibody may bind with a high degree of specificity; an antigenic determinant. (OED 1993)

    The suffixes -tope and -type are used in words denoting certain units of immunological significance. An antigen particle carries several epitopes (= surface configurations, single determinants, structural themes, immunogenic elements, haptenic groups, antigenic patterns, specific areas).

    Jerne, N.K. (1960). Immunological Speculations. Annual Review of Microbiology 14, 341-358: 342.