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J Virol. 2006 Apr;80(7):3675-8.

Comparison of the mutation rates of human influenza A and B viruses.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Infection, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kawasumi 1, Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya City 467-8601, Japan.


Human influenza A viruses evolve more rapidly than influenza B viruses. To clarify the cause of this difference, we have evaluated the mutation rate of the nonstructural gene as revealed by the genetic diversity observed during the growth of individual plaques in MDCK cells. Six plaques were studied, representing two strains each of type A and B viruses. A total of 813,663 nucleotides were sequenced, giving rates of 2.0 x 10(-6) and 0.6 x 10(-6) mutations per site per infectious cycle, which, when extended to 1 year, agree well with the published annual evolutionary rates.

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