16/09/2009

Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger on: Seeds of a Pandemic. -- (pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza)

 

.....Occasionally, however, a really dramatic change occurs in which an entirely new kind of influenza virus emerges that hasn't existed before. Usually it's thought that it's a recombinant. That is, it's a mixture of the genes of two different influenza viruses. So that if one animal, say a pig, is infected with a bird influenza virus and a human influenza virus, what could happen is that you could make a mixed virus, a recombinant virus that had some genetic material of the bird virus and some genetic material of the human virus, and it would be so different that no one on earth would have any kind of immunity to it and it would allow it to spread like wildfire through human populations.......

Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger on: Seeds of a Pandemic

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