Persistent Antibody Clonotypes Dominate the Serum Response to Influenza over Multiple Years and Repeated Vaccinations

Jiwon Lee, Philipp Paparoditis, Andrew P. Horton, Alexander Frühwirth, Jonathan R. McDaniel, Jiwon Jung, Daniel R. Boutz, Dania A. Hussein, Yuri Tanno, Leontios Pappas, Gregory C. Ippolito, Davide Corti, Antonio Lanzavecchia, George Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Humans are repeatedly exposed to influenza virus via infections and vaccinations. Understanding how multiple exposures and pre-existing immunity impact antibody responses is essential for vaccine development. Given the recent prevalence of influenza H1N1 A/California/7/2009 (CA09), we examined the clonal composition and dynamics of CA09 hemagglutinin (HA)-reactive IgG repertoire over 5 years in a donor with multiple influenza exposures. The anti-CA09 HA polyclonal response in this donor comprised 24 persistent antibody clonotypes, accounting for 72.6% ± 10.0% of the anti-CA09 HA repertoire over 5 years. These persistent antibodies displayed higher somatic hypermutation relative to transient serum antibodies detected at one time point. Additionally, persistent antibodies predominantly demonstrated cross-reactivity and potent neutralization toward a phylogenetically distant H5N1 A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (VT04) strain, a feature correlated with HA stem recognition. This analysis reveals how “serological imprinting” impacts responses to influenza and suggests that once elicited, cross-reactive antibodies targeting the HA stem can persist for years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-376.e5
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 13 2019


  • anti-hemagglutinin antibodies
  • humoral immunity
  • immunological imprinting
  • influenza vaccine response
  • longitudinal profiling
  • persistent antibodies
  • serum antibody repertoire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


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