Specialization and Complementation of Humoral Immune Responses to Infection


The importance of specific antibodies for the clearance of and long-term resistance to many infectious pathogens has long been appreciated. In the last five years, data from of all of these areas of research have coalesced, resulting in the emergence of a new and more complete understanding of how antibody-mediated resistance to pathogens is elaborated. The recent explosion of knowledge of Toll-like receptor (TLR) specificity and function (Takeda et al., 2003) has further embellished this understanding. It is now clear that there is not only extensive overlap and cross-complementarity in the action of innate and adaptive systems, but also specialization of function of the various B cell subsets and the types of antibodies they produce. This synergistic interaction of multiple components of these systems is perhaps best exemplified in antibody responses to bacteria. The contributors to this volume will highlight this new perspective on antibody responses to infection, as well as to convey its practical implications, such as for contemporary vaccine design.

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