B cell activating factor receptor (BAFFR)-/- mice have a profound reduction in mature B cells, but unlike μMT mice, they have normal numbers of newly formed, immature B cells. Using a West Nile virus (WNV) challenge model that requires antibodies (Abs) for protection, we found that unlike wild-type (WT) mice, BAFFR-/- mice were highly susceptible to WNV and succumbed to infection within 8 to 12 days after subcutaneous virus challenge. Although mature B cells were required to protect against lethal infection, infected BAFFR-/- mice had reduced WNV E-specific IgG responses and neutralizing Abs. Passive transfer of immune sera from previously infected WT mice rescued BAFFR-/- and fully B cell-deficient μMT mice, but unlike μMT mice that died around 30 days post-infection, BAFFR-/- mice survived, developed WNV-specific IgG Abs and overcame a second WNV challenge. Remarkably, protective immunity could be induced in mature B cell-deficient mice. Administration of a WNV E-anti-CD180 conjugate vaccine 30 days prior to WNV infection induced Ab responses that protected against lethal infection in BAFFR-/- mice but not in μMT mice. Thus, the immature B cells present in BAFFR-/- and not μMT mice contribute to protective antiviral immunity. A CD180-based vaccine may promote immunity in immunocompromised individuals.