Antigen Shift in Influenza Viruses
Posted on May 4, 2009 Comments (3)
Antigenic shift is the process by which at least two different strains of a virus, (or different viruses), especially influenza, combine to form a new subtype having a mixture of the surface antigens of the two original strains.
Pigs can be infected with human, avian and swine influenza viruses. Because pigs are susceptible to all three they can be a breeding ground for antigenic shift (as in the recent case of H1N1 Flu – Swine Flu) allowing viruses to mix and create a new virus.
Related: Swine Flu: a Quick Overview – One Sneeze, 150 Colds for Commuters – Washing Hands Works Better than Flu Shots (study results) – Learning How Viruses Evade the Immune System – Alligator Blood Provides Strong Resistance to Bacteria and Viruses