Antibodies (Ab) to the polysaccharide capsule of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib-PS) provide protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b disease in children, and Hib-PS vaccines with different immunologic properties are widely used clinically. The repertoire of human anti-Hib-PS Ab induced by these vaccines is relatively restricted and can be divided into two types by the structure of the light chain V region. Ab using A2-V kappa II gene product, which account for the majority of anti-Hib-PS Ab response in most patients, show little somatic mutations. In contrast, non-Ab using A2-V kappa II gene product use VL genes from the V kappa I, V kappa II, V kappa III, V kappa IV, and V lambda subgroups, are variably expressed among patients, and contain somatic mutations. To further study the expression of these two types of anti-Hib-PS Ab, we have produced KB13, a mAb specific for V kappa II subgroup, and used mAb specific for various other VL subgroups to develop immunoassays specific for anti-Hib-PS Ab of each VL subgroup. When Ig allotypes were studied for the effect on the Ab repertoire, A2-V kappa II (A2) Ab were found to be expressed less in patients expressing fb or zag CH haplotypes (p < 0.05). When the T cell-independent Hib-PS carbohydrate vaccine was compared to two T cell-dependent Hib-PS protein conjugate vaccines for their effect on Ab repertoire, Ab using V kappa III VL were found to be more often elicited with the conjugate vaccines than with the Hib-PS carbohydrate vaccine (p < 0.01). Thus, individual members of the anti-Hib-PS Ab repertoire differ not only in their V region structure but also in the control of their expression.

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