prof.dr Marion P.G. Koopmans
dr. Gijsbert P. van Nierop
Arbovirus infection or vaccination induce a strong and broad antibody response that protects the host from reinfection with the same virus. Exposure to antigenically related heterologous virus strains favors highly cross-reactive antibodies induced by memory B cell responses. This results in complex antibody landscapes which may protect from disease – by aiding in viral clearance, e.g. virus cross-neutralization – or enhance disease due to immunopathogenic mechanisms. Pre-existing heterotypic antibodies may cause 1) antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection, which leads to altered immune responses or increased viral replication, 2) a delayed onset, or magnitude of a new type-specific response, termed original antigenic sin. In the complex spectrum of serum antibodies is unclear which antibody clones are protective or pathogenic, and what their impact is on the clinical outcome of infection. We will study the humoral immune response at the clonal level using a recently developed B-cell platform to correlate antigen specificity and phenotype of antibodies with their functional contribution to disease outcome.
Research questions / objectives