Influenza Virus Cutaway 5
Cutaway model of an influenza virus particle showing internal structures. Superficially you can see the spikes of Haemagglutinin (red) and Neuraminidase (squarish and yellow). These spikes pass through the greenish viral envelope to dock with the underlying matrix (M) proteins shown in purple. Inside the matrix shell you can glimpse the dark yellow ribonucleoproteins that house the viral genome. Flu viruses have eight of these RNPs. If two or more strains infect the same cell, then progeny viruses can incorporate segments from more than one parent leading to new and possibly more dangerous strains. This is called genetic reassortment. Flu occurs in seasonal epidemics and periodically as major pandemics.
August 6th, 2012
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