ANTI­GENIC

EQUUS - - Eiv Equine Influenza Virus -

SMALL STEPS: As the in­fluenza virus mul­ti­plies and spreads from host to host, it un­der­goes small ge­netic changes, called “anti­genic drift.” So many changes may even­tu­ally ac­cu­mu­late that the virus es­sen­tially be­comes a new en­tity, re­quir­ing the im­mune sys­tem to make new an­ti­bod­ies. GI­ANT LEAPS: In­fluenza viruses can also change

from dif­fer­ent strains re­com­bine into a new form—an event called “anti­genic shift.” These

likely to pro­duce vir­u­lent new strains that can cre­ate out­breaks in peo­ple or an­i­mals who have no nat­u­ral im­mu­nity.

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