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 OverviewOne Sneeze, 150 Colds for CommutersWashing Hands Works Better than Flu Shots (study results)Learning How Viruses Evade the Immune SystemAlligator Blood Provides Strong Resistance to Bacteria and Viruses

3 Responses to “Antigen Shift in Influenza Viruses”

  1. Zack J. Garza
    May 8th, 2009 @ 12:35 am

    Thanks for the valuable information on spreading swine flue. The post is really helpful for a common man to understand how the swine flue viruses attack the human body. If we understood the phenomenon, we can surely control such epidemic infections.

    Thanks!

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Science Explained: RNA Interference
    November 13th, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    This article from MIT is one, of many, showing MIT’s commitment to science education of the public. Good job, MIT.

  3. Cool Animation of a Virus Invading a Person’s Body » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    February 15th, 2012 @ 3:15 am

    […] Antigen Shift in Influenza Viruses – Learning How Viruses Evade the Immune System – How to Stay Healthy: Avoiding the Flu […]

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