In the past decade, high-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS) methods and improved approaches for isolating antigen-specific B cells and their antibody genes have been applied in many areas of human immunology. This work has greatly increased our understanding of human antibody repertoires and the specific clones responsible for protective immunity or immune-mediated pathogenesis. Although the principles underlying selection of individual B cell clones in the intact immune system are still under investigation, the combination of more powerful genetic tracking of antibody lineage development and functional testing of the encoded proteins promises to transform therapeutic antibody discovery and optimization. Here, we highlight recent advances in this fast-moving field.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.