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Neonatal Exposure to Antigens of Commensal Bacteria Promotes Broader Immune Repertoire

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Credit: University of Alabama at Birmingham

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University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have added fresh evidence that early exposure to vaccine-, bacterial- or microbiota-derived antigens has a dramatic effect on the diversity of antibodies an adult mammal will have to fight future infections by pathogens. This antibody diversity is called the clonal repertoire — basically different single cells with distinct antibody potential that can multiply into a large clone of cells, all producing that distinct antibody.

In a mouse study published in the journal Immunity, they looked at a group of immune cells called B-1 B cells. Although all ...