When designing vaccines, consider the starting material: the human B cell repertoire

Colin Havenar-Daughton, Robert K. Abbott, William R. Schief, Shane Crotty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Most viral vaccines provide protection from infection through the generation of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). The repertoire of B cells responding to immunization is the starting material from which nAbs eventually arise. Immunization strategies are increasingly targeting precise B cell specificities to mimic nAbs generated during natural infection, in an effort to maximize the potency of the vaccine-elicited Ab response. An understanding of the human B cell specificities capable of immunogen recognition can aid in immunogen design and inform decision-making for clinical advancement. Here, we review what is known about antigen-specific and epitope-specific naive B cell repertoires in humans and mice, and we consider the challenges for identifying and analyzing antigen-specific naive B cell repertoires. Finally, we provide a framework for further exploration, interpretation, utilization of the B cell repertoire to facilitate vaccine discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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