Microbiology: Antigenic Drift and Antigenic Shift

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These factors are seen very readily in:

the influenza virus (flu)


This virus has a nucleic acid material that is:

single-stranded RNA


As a result, the replication of the nucleic acid is:

prone to error


When errors are made, new antigens are developed in the spikes. The spikes contain the antigens:__________ and __________. These are the antigens that we direct antibodies against.

hemagglutinin - attach H
neuraminidase - be released N


The result of such changes is referred to as:

antigenic drift


The genome of influenza virus is also a fragmented genome, consisting of:

eight separate pieces


It is also a virus that can infect multiple hosts. The human strain and the avian (bird) strain can both infect:



When a single cell is infected with both forms, it is not uncommon for:

capsids can pick up a mixture of RNA


This leads to a virus that makes a radically different:



The result is a virus with a completely new assortment of antigens, and this is referred to as ____________.

antigenic shift


When the immune system overacts to an otherwise harmless antigen it is referred to as ___________.



Name the 4 types of hypersensitivity:

Antibody Mediated Immunity:
1. Type I - allergies
2. Type II - causes transfusions reaction
3. Type III - precipitate - activate complement

Cell Mediated Immunity:
4. Type IV - delayed type hypersensitivity (contact dermatitis)


When the immune system reacts to self-antigens it is referred to as:



The exact causes of autoimmunity are unknown, but the list of these diseases is growing. It includes: (there are 3)

rheumatic fever, Type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis

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