T cell repertoire diversity and clonotype follow-up in vaccination, cancer, infectious and immune diseases represent a major challenge owing to the enormous complexity of the data generated. Here we describe a next generation methodology, which combines 5 RACE PCR, 454 sequencing and, for analysis, IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system (IMGT), IMGT/HighV-QUEST web portal and IMGT-ONTOLOGY concepts. The approach is validated in a human case study of T cell receptor beta (TRB) repertoire, by chronologically tracking the effects of influenza vaccination on conventional and regulatory T cell subpopulations. The IMGT/HighV-QUEST paradigm defines standards for genotype/haplotype analysis and characterization of IMGT clonotypes for clonal diversity and expression and achieves a degree of resolution for next generation sequencing verifiable by the user at the sequence level, while providing a normalized reference immunoprofile for human TRB. ? 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.