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The diversity of Ag-specific adaptive receptors on the surface of B cells and in the population of secreted Abs is enormous, but increasingly, we are acquiring the technical capability to interrogate Ab repertoires in great detail. These Ab technologies have been especially pointed at understanding the complex issues of immunity to infection and disease caused by influenza virus, one of the most common and vexing medical problems in man. Influenza immunity is particularly interesting as a model system because the antigenic diversity of influenza strains and proteins is high and constantly evolving. Discovery of canonical features in the subset of the influenza repertoire response that is broadly reactive for diverse influenza strains has spurred the recent optimism for creating universal influenza vaccines. Using new technologies for sequencing Ab repertoires at great depth is helping us to understand the central features of influenza immunity.
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