To advance our understanding and treatment of disease, research immunologists have been called-upon to place more centralized emphasis on impactful human studies. Such endeavors will inevitably require large-scale study execution and data management regulation ("Big Biology"), necessitating standardized and reliable metrics of immune status and function. A well-known example setting this large-scale effort in-motion is identifying correlations between eventual disease outcome and T lymphocyte phenotype in large HIV-patient cohorts using multiparameter flow cytometry. However, infection, immunodeficiency, and autoimmunity are also characterized by correlative and functional contributions of B lymphocytes, which to-date have received much less attention in the human Big Biology enterprise. Here, we review progress in human B cell phenotyping, analysis, and bioinformatics tools that constitute valuable resources for the B cell research community to effectively join in this effort.
Keywords: B lymphocyte; autoimmunity; data clustering; data management; flow cytometry; human.