Serology in the 21st century: the molecular-level analysis of the serum antibody repertoire

Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Aug;35:89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.06.009. Epub 2015 Jul 10.


The ensemble of antibodies found in serum and secretions represents the key adaptive component of B-cell mediated humoral immunity. The antibody repertoire is shaped by the historical record of exposure to exogenous factors such as pathogens and vaccines, as well as by endogenous host-intrinsic factors such as genetics, self-antigens, and age. Thanks to very recent technology advancements it is now becoming possible to identify and quantify the individual antibodies comprising the serological repertoire. In parallel, the advent of high throughput methods for antigen and immunosignature discovery opens up unprecedented opportunities to transform our understanding of numerous key questions in adaptive humoral immunity, including the nature and dynamics of serological memory, the role of polyspecific antibodies in health and disease and how protective responses to infections or vaccine challenge arise. Additionally, these technologies also hold great promise for therapeutic antibody and biomarker discovery in a variety of settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood*
  • Antibody Diversity
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Antigens / isolation & purification
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Pathology, Molecular
  • Proteomics
  • Serology / methods*


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens