Answer to Question #5197 in Microbiology for pam

Question #5197
Explain reassortment in influenza
Expert's answer
Influenza virus genome consists of 7 independent DNA molecules. It is necessary
exactly 7 fragments for the further reproductive ability This genetic material
has information mostly about the surface proteins: the hemagglutinins (H) and
the neuraminidases (N). A reassortment is a phenomena when different types of
influenza virus (from the different species) exchange some fragments of
DNA among themselves during a cell infection by various influenza viruses. In
the total, the offsprings of these viruses will have 7 segments genome each, but
in the new DNA combinations. It is a way of the new influenza virus
modifications, which are potentially very dangerous. In such way nature has
presented us H1N1, which genome includes fragments from birds, pigs and human
influenza viruses.

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