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CDC and WHO Imitate Nature
December 27, 2004
>>The other alternative is what Cox describes as the classical way - simultaneously infecting tissue culture with H5N1 and H3N2 viruses and seeing what results. That approach is more time-consuming and laborious, but more closely mimics evolution of influenza viruses in nature. <<
WHO and CDC just need to look at GenBank. Their experiment has already been done in swine in Korea. The H1N1 human virus (WSN/33) and avian viruses (H9N2) have already co-infected swine, and produced a variety of reassorted and recombined viruses.
In the reassorted area, the virus that emerged has 7, 5, 4 or 3 human genes. In some isolates the remaining avian gene (PB2) is half avian and half human. In other cases there were two avian viruses which produced recombinant NA genes.
However, it is the recombined genes that are new genes, and it is the recombined genes (which are created year after year) that are of the greatest concern.
The recombination generates drifts and shifts and drives the rapid evolution.