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Affinity maturation of IgG antibodies in adaptive immune responses is a well-accepted mechanism to improve effector functions of IgG within 2 weeks to several months of antigen encounter. This concept has been defined mainly for IgG responses against chemically defined haptens. We have evaluated this concept in a viral system and analyzed neutralizing IgG antibody responses against vesicular stomatitis virus (a close relative of rabies virus) with a panel of monoclonal antibodies obtained early (day 6 or 12) and late (day 150) after hyperimmunization. These neutralizing IgG antibodies recognize a single major antigenic site with high affinities (Ka of 10(8)-10(10) liter.mol-1) and with rapid on-rates already on day 6 of a primary response and with no evidence for further antigen dose- and time-dependent overall improvement of affinity. This type of IgG response is probably representative for viruses or bacterial toxins which are crucially controlled by neutralizing antibodies.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





1257 - 1261


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibodies, Viral, Antibody Affinity, Antigens, Viral, Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic, Epitope Mapping, Genes, Immunoglobulin, Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments, Immunoglobulin G, Kinetics, Membrane Glycoproteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Neutralization Tests, Rats, Time Factors, Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus, Viral Proteins