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Vaccine. 2004 Dec 16;23(5):615-22.

Co-administration of CpG oligonucleotides enhances the late affinity maturation process of human anti-hepatitis B vaccine response.

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Department of Pediatrics, Center for Vaccinology and Neonatal Immunology, University of Geneva, C.M.U., 1 rue Michel-Servet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


We assessed the avidity maturation process elicited by human immunization with alum-adsorbed HBsAg alone or with a novel adjuvant containing CpG motifs (CpG 7909). Mean avidity indexes and distribution of low- and high-avidity anti-HBs indicated that avidity maturation essentially takes place late after priming. CpG 7909 markedly enhanced this affinity maturation process, increasing the pool of high-avidity antibodies. The influence of CpG 7909 was antigen-specific, isotype-specific and distinct from the influence on anti-HBs production, as avidity did not correlate with anti-HBs IgG titers. This is the first demonstration that a novel human adjuvant may induce antibodies with higher antigen-binding affinity.

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