Vaccination and infection promote the formation, tissue distribution, and clonal evolution of B cells, which encode 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. Adults had higher clone frequencies and greater class-switching in lymphoid tissues than blood, while pediatric blood had abundant class-switched convergent clones. Consistent with reported serology, pre-pandemic children had class-switched convergent clones to SARS-CoV-2 with weak cross-reactivity to other coronaviruses, while adult blood or tissues showed few such clones. The results highlight the prominence of early childhood B cell clonal expansions and cross-reactivity for future responses to novel pathogens.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abf6648
View details for PubMedID 33846272