Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37252802
Link to HAL – pasteur-04111772
Link to DOI – 10.1172/jci.insight.166602
JCI Insight 2023 Jul; 8(13):
SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination generates protective B cell responses targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Whereas anti-spike memory B cell responses are long lasting, the anti-spike humoral antibody response progressively wanes, making booster vaccinations necessary for maintaining protective immunity. Here, we qualitatively investigated the plasmablast responses by measuring from single cells within hours of sampling the affinity of their secreted antibody for the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain (RBD) in cohorts of BNT162b2-vaccinated naive and COVID-19-recovered individuals. Using a droplet microfluidic and imaging approach, we analyzed more than 4,000 single IgG-secreting cells, revealing high interindividual variability in affinity for RBD, with variations over 4 logs. High-affinity plasmablasts were induced by BNT162b2 vaccination against Hu-1 and Omicron RBD but disappeared quickly thereafter, whereas low-affinity plasmablasts represented more than 65% of the plasmablast response at all time points. Our droplet-based method thus proves efficient at fast and qualitative immune monitoring and should be helpful for optimization of vaccination protocols.