Tools to therapeutically harness the human antibody response

Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Oct;12(10):709-19. doi: 10.1038/nri3285.


The natural human antibody response is a rich source of highly specific, neutralizing and self-tolerant therapeutic reagents. Recent advances have been made in isolating and characterizing monoclonal antibodies that are generated in response to natural infection or vaccination. Studies of the human antibody response have led to the discovery of crucial epitopes that could serve as new targets in vaccine design and in the creation of potentially powerful immunotherapies. With a focus on influenza virus and HIV, herein we summarize the technological tools used to identify and characterize human monoclonal antibodies and describe how these tools might be used to fight infectious diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antibody Formation / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Virus Diseases / immunology


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Epitopes