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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;385:377-401. doi: 10.1007/82_2014_395.

Influenza A virus reassortment.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Reassortment is the process by which influenza viruses swap gene segments. This genetic exchange is possible due to the segmented nature of the viral genome and occurs when two differing influenza viruses co-infect a cell. The viral diversity generated through reassortment is vast and plays an important role in the evolution of influenza viruses. Herein we review recent insights into the contribution of reassortment to the natural history and epidemiology of influenza A viruses, gained through population scale phylogenic analyses. We describe methods currently used to study reassortment in the laboratory, and we summarize recent progress made using these experimental approaches to further our understanding of influenza virus reassortment and the contexts in which it occurs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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