Many people have a history of catching the flu several times during childhood but no additional flu in adulthood, even without vaccination. We analyzed the total repertoire of antibodies (Abs) against influenza A group 1 viruses induced in such a flu-resistant person after vaccination with 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus. They were classified into two types, with no exceptions. The first type, the products of B cells newly induced through vaccination, binds near the sialic acid-binding pocket. The second type, the products of long-lived memory B cells established before vaccination, utilizes the 1-69 VH gene, binds to the stem of HA, and neutralizes both H1N1 and H5N1 viruses with few exceptions. These observations indicate that the sialic acid-binding pocket and its surrounding region are immunogenically very potent and majority of the B cells whose growth is newly induced by vaccination produce Abs that recognize these regions. However, they play a role in protection against influenza virus infection for a short period since variant viruses that have acquired resistance to these Abs become dominant. On the other hand, although the stem of HA is immunogenically not potent, the second type of B cells eventually becomes dominant. Thus, a selection system should function in forming the repertoire of long-lived memory B cells and the stability of the epitope would greatly affect the fate of the memory cells. Acquisition of the ability to produce Abs that bind to the stable epitope could be a major factor of flu resistance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)