Variations in antibody repertoires correlate with vaccine responses

Yana Safonova, Sung Bong Shin, Luke Kramer, James Reecy, Corey T. Watson, Timothy P.L. Smith, Pavel A. Pevzner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


An important challenge in vaccine development is to figure out why a vaccine succeeds in some individuals and fails in others. Although antibody repertoires hold the key to answering this question, there have been very few personalized immunogenomics studies so far aimed at revealing how variations in immunoglobulin genes affect a vaccine response. We conducted an immunosequencing study of 204 calves vaccinated against bovine respiratory disease (BRD) with the goal to reveal variations in immunoglobulin genes and somatic hypermutations that impact the efficacy of vaccine response. Our study represents the largest longitudinal personalized immunogenomics study reported to date across all species, including humans. To analyze the generated data set, we developed an algorithm for identifying variations of the immunoglobulin genes (as well as frequent somatic hypermutations) that affect various features of the antibody repertoire and titers of neutralizing antibodies. In contrast to relatively short human antibodies, cattle have a large fraction of ultralong antibodies that have opened new therapeutic opportunities. Our study reveals that ultralong antibodies are a key component of the immune response against the costliest disease of beef cattle in North America. The detected variants of the cattle immunoglobulin genes, which are implicated in the success/failure of the BRD vaccine, have the potential to direct the selection of individual cattle for ongoing breeding programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-804
Number of pages14
JournalGenome research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this