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J Virol. 1980 Jul;35(1):24-30.

Antigenic variation of influenza A virus nucleoprotein detected with monoclonal antibodies.


Monoclonal antibodies were used to study antigenic variation in the nucleoprotein of influenza A viruses. We found that the nucleoprotein molecule of the WSN/33 strain possesses at least five different determinants. Viruses of other influenza A virus subtypes showed antigenic variation in these nucleoprotein determinants, although changes in only one determinant were detected in H0N1 and animal strains. The nucleoprotein of human strains isolated from 1933 through 1979 could be divided into six groups, based on their reactivities with monoclonal antibodies; these groups did not correlate with any particular hemagglutinin or neuraminidase subtype. Our results indicate that antigenic variation in the nucleoproteins of influenza A viruses proceeds independently of changes in the viral surface antigens and suggest that point mutations and genetic reassortment may account for nucleoprotein variability.

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