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The Flu Virus’s Ability to Mutate May Sometimes Be Its Downfall

By studying the effects of flu viruses on individual cells, scientists have shown how viral mutation can affect the outcome of infection. 

One of influenza virus’s main weapons is actually a double-edged sword.

The virus’s ability to rapidly mutate lets it escape from the immune system’s memory and explains why people can be repeatedly re-infected with flu – unlike measles or polio. But those mutations can also blow the virus’s cover, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Jesse Bloom and colleagues reported May 8, 2019, in the Journal of Virology.

Read the full press release here.

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