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Cell. 1979 Sep;18(1):73-83.

Evolution of human influenza A viruses in nature: sequential mutations in the genomes of new H1N1.


The genetic variation of the new pandemic H1N1 influenza A viruses isolated in 1977 was analyzed by two-dimensional oligonucleotide fingerprinting and RNA sequencing. Differences were observed in the fingerprints of the RNAs of these viruses, and analysis of the changes suggested that sequential mutations occurred in their genomes. Based on these data, a scheme is presented which proposes divergent evolution of strains from a common ancestry. Furthermore, it was found that mutations were not restricted to the genes coding for the hemagglutinin and the neuraminidase, but were scattered throughout the genome, suggesting that selective antibody pressure is not solely responsible for the emergence of genetic variants. Our data also strengthen the hypothesis that the new H1N1 influenza virus strains are derived from strains circulating in 1950.

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