J Clin Invest. 2020 Nov 20:144685. doi: 10.1172/JCI144685. Online ahead of print.
Many individuals possess B cells capable of recognizing epitopes on the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. In this issue of the JCI, Paschold and Simnica et al. interrogated the frequency of SARS-CoV-2-specific B cell receptor rearrangements in healthy subjects based on age and cancer status. The authors found that, while SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody signatures can be identified in the repertoires of young, healthy individuals, such sequences are less frequent in elderly subjects or cancer patients. Overall, this study sheds light on B cell repertoire restrictions that might lead to an unfavorable clinical course of COVID-19 infection in risk populations.