Background: Acute viral infections induce a rapid and transient increase in antibody-secreting plasmablasts. At convalescence, memory B cells (MBC) and long-lived plasma cells (LLPC) are responsible for long-term humoral immunity. Following an acute viral infection, the specific properties and relationships between antibodies produced by these B cell compartments are poorly understood. Methods: We utilized a controlled human challenge model of primary dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV2) infection to study acute and convalescent B-cell responses. Findings: The level of DENV2 replication was correlated with the magnitude of the plasmablast response. Functional analysis of plasmablast-derived monoclonal antibodies showed that the DENV2-specific response was dominated by cells producing DENV2 serotype-specific antibodies. DENV2-neutralizing antibodies targeted quaternary structure epitopes centered on domain III of the viral envelope protein (EDIII). Functional analysis of MBC and serum antibodies from the same subjects six months post-challenge revealed maintenance of the serotype-specific response in both compartments. The serum response mainly targeted DENV2 serotype-specific epitopes on EDIII. Interpretation: Our data suggest overall functional alignment of DENV2-specific responses from the plasmablast, through the MBC and LLPC compartments following primary DENV2 inflection. These results provide enhanced resolution of the temporal and specificity of the B cell compartment in viral infection and serve as framework for evaluation of B cell responses in challenge models. Funding: This study was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
- Humoral immunity
- Viral infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)