Polysaccharide-specific B cell responses to vaccination in humans.
Mitchell R., Kelly DF., Pollard AJ., Trück J.
The introduction of vaccines containing the capsular polysaccharides of N. meningitidis, S. pneumonia, and H. influenzae type b has driven a significant reduction in cases of disease caused by these bacteria. The polysaccharide-specific antibody responses following vaccination are well characterized, however less is known about the B cells underlying this response. Here, we summarize the plasma cell (PC) and memory B cell (BMEM) responses following plain polysaccharide and protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccination, drawing together studies covering a range of vaccines and age groups. These studies show that infant primary PC and BMEM responses to polysaccharide-conjugate vaccines are low in relation to older age groups but are significantly higher following booster doses. PC kinetics have generally been found to follow a similar pattern irrespective of vaccine type or age group, whereas divergent BMEM responses have been reported following plain polysaccharide and conjugate vaccination. A degree of correlation between early BMEM responses and maintenance of protective antibody levels has been identified in some studies, but the relationship between the 2 remains unclear. Identification of the B cell subsets involved and the mechanisms by which they are induced may provide a better understanding of the role of B cells in maintaining protective immunity through vaccination.