B cells

Unfortunately, B cells are often overlooked; as living, dividing cells that hide away in tissues, they’re harder to isolate and study than the proteins they produce. But the antibodies they deploy can be powerful enough to quash microbes before they break into cells, potentially halting infections in their tracks - Katherine J. Wu

B cells

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The cells that can give you super-immunity

We now know that throughout our lifetimes, we are constantly producing new B cells. The body contains up to around 10 billion of them – equivalent to the length of 100 football pitches, if you lined them all up in a row – with each B cell containing receptors that can recognise different types of antigen shapes on the surface of a virus.

This matters because while B cells do not bind to viruses themselves, they can turn into plasma cells when they detect a threat. These plasma cells produce antibodies directed towards the same viral antigen as their native B cell. A less diverse pool of B cells means fewer antibodies that might be capable of neutralising the virus. One of the things…

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Last Updated : Tuesday, May 10, 2022