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H5N1 Mating and Mutating
November 24, 2004
>>That could happen if the bird flu virus got into an animal, most probably a pig, which can harbor the kind of influenza virus that affects people, mate and mutate. There is not yet any sign that has happened <<
There are VERY clear signs that dual infections have happened, particularly in the isolates from Vietnam and Thailand. Isolates from both countries have polymorphisms not found in other H5N1 isolates. The polymorphisms however, can be readily detected in mammalian isolates from pigs and humans. The virus mates (via dual infection) and mutates (via recombination) on a very regular basis, and the mating is quite evident in the isolates from fatal human cases in Vietnam and Thailand.