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Shared B cell memory to coronaviruses and other pathogens varies in human age groups and tissues

By Fan Yang, Sandra Abel Nielsen, Ramona A. Hoh, Ji-Yeun Lee, Tho D. Pham, Katherine J.L. Jackson, Krishna M. Roskin, Yi Liu, Robert S. Ohgami, Eleanor M. Osborne, Claus U. Niemann, Julie Parsonnet, Scott D. Boyd

Posted 02 Dec 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.01.407015

Vaccination and infection promote the formation, tissue distribution, and clonal evolution of B cells encoding humoral immune memory. We evaluated convergent antigen-specific antibody genes of similar sequences shared between individuals in pediatric and adult blood, and deceased organ donor tissues. B cell memory varied for different pathogens. Polysaccharide antigen-specific clones were not exclusive to the spleen. Convergent clones in adults often express mutated IgM or IgD in blood and are class-switched in lymphoid tissues; in contrast, children have abundant class-switched convergent clones in blood. Consistent with serological reports, pre-pandemic children had class-switched convergent clones to SARS-CoV-2, enriched in cross-reactive clones for seasonal coronaviruses, while adults showed few such clones in blood or lymphoid tissues. These results extend age-related and anatomical mapping of human humoral pathogen-specific immunity.

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