Network Signatures of IgG Immune Repertoires in Hepatitis B Associated Chronic Infection and Vaccination Responses

Sci Rep. 2016 May 25;6:26556. doi: 10.1038/srep26556.


The repertoire of IgG antibody responses to infection and vaccination varies depending on the characteristics of the immunogen and the ability of the host to mount a protective immune response. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are marked by persistent infection and immune tolerance to vaccination. This disease offers a unique opportunity to discover key repertoire signatures during infection and in response to vaccination. Complementarity determining region 3 of an antibody heavy chain (CDR-H3) has a major impact on the antigenic specificity of an antibody. We used next-generation sequencing to characterize the CDR-H3 sequences in paired siblings of 4 families in which only one member of each pair had chronic HBV infection. Blood samples were obtained before and 2 weeks after HBV vaccination. The analysis revealed a huge network of sequence-related CDR-H3 clones found almost exclusively among carriers. In contrast, vaccination induced significant increases of CDR-H3 cluster diversities among siblings without hepatitis B. Several vaccination-associated clone clusters were identified. Similar findings of vaccination-associated clone networks were observed in healthy adults receiving HBV boosters. These strategies can be used to identify signatures of other infectious diseases and accelerate discoveries of antibody sequences with important biomedical implications.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / blood
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Male


  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin G