Immunoglobulin gene heterogeneity reflects the diversity and focus of the humoral immune response towards different infections, enabling inference of B cell development processes. Detailed compositional and lineage analysis of long read IGH repertoire sequencing, combining examples of pandemic, epidemic and endemic viral infections with control and vaccination samples, demonstrates general responses including increased use of IGHV4-39 in both Zaire Ebolavirus (EBOV) and COVID-19 patient cohorts. We also show unique characteristics absent in Respiratory Syncytial Virus or yellow fever vaccine samples: EBOV survivors show unprecedented high levels of class switching events while COVID-19 repertoires from acute disease appear underdeveloped. Despite the high levels of clonal expansion in COVID-19 IgG1 repertoires there is a striking lack of evidence of germinal centre mutation and selection. Given the differences in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality with age, it is also pertinent that we find significant differences in repertoire characteristics between young and old patients. Our data supports the hypothesis that a primary viral challenge can result in a strong but immature humoral response where failures in selection of the repertoire risk off-target effects.


© 2022 Stewart, Sinclair, Ng, O’Hare, Page, Serangeli, Margreitter, Orsenigo, Longman, Frampas, Costa, Lewis, Kasar, Wu, Kipling, Openshaw, Chiu, Baillie, Scott, Semple, Bailey, Fraternali and Dunn-Walters. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Stewart, A., Sinclair, E., Ng, J., O'Hare, J., Page, A., Serangeli, I., Margreitter, C., Orsenigo, F., Longman, K., Frampas, C., Costa, C., Lewis, H., Kasar, N., Wu, B., Kipling, D., Openshaw, P., Chiu, C., Baillie, J., Scott, J., Semple, M., Bailey, M., Fraternali, F. & Dunn-Walters, D. 2022, 'Pandemic, epidemic, endemic: B cell repertoire analysis reveals unique anti-viral responses to SARS-CoV-2, Ebola and Respiratory Syncytial Virus', Frontiers in Immunology, 13, article no: 807104. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.807104

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Last updated: 22 September 2022
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