Basic virology

Reassortment of the influenza virus genome

Mutation is an important source of RNA virus diversity that is made possible by the error-prone nature of RNA synthesis. Viruses with segmented genomes, such as influenza virus, have another mechanism for generating diversity: reassortment. When an influenza virus infects a cell, the individual RNA segments enter the nucleus. There they are copied many times …

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Packaging of the segmented influenza RNA genome

The RNA genome of influenza viruses is segmented . The virions of influenza A and B viruses contain 8 different RNAs, while those of influenza C viruses contain 7. How is the correct number of RNA segments inserted into newly synthesized virus particles? During influenza virus assembly, viral RNAs and viral proteins €“ called a …

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Influenza 101

Soon after the new influenza H1N1 strain emerged in April 2009, I began a series of blog posts on basic aspects of influenza virus replication and pathogenesis. The goal of this series is to provide information that will allow everyone to better understand the events surrounding emergence and spread of the new pandemic strain. Unfortunately …

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