The present Invention provides novel methods for immortalizing cells that secrete antibodies of one or more specific isotypes. Polyclonal, oligoclonal, and monoclonal populations of cells obtained using the methods of the Invention can be screened on the basis of the functional and/or binding activities of the antibodies they secrete, for example directed to antigens of human or viral origin having medical interest, in cell culture conditions. Using these methods, human B cells that secrete antibodies binding human Cytomegalovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSP60 protein have been efficiently immortalized with Epstein-Barr virus.
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