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Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger on: A Recombinant Virus
 Dr. Taubenberger of the Armed Forces Inst. pf Patholgy Listen in Real Audio

There is some evidence to suggest that humans had been infected with similar H1/N1 virus as early as about 1908, by antibody evidence. So it's possible is that what we're dealing with is a recombinant virus that has some human-like characteristics of a human virus that was maybe not a killer virus but was already a human adapted influenza virus that was circulating in the decade or so before 1918 and that something happened to it, either by recombination with other viruses in pigs or from birds, and that it turned into a killer virus. What we're trying to do is to pinpoint genetic features of the 1918 virus that might explain its unusual virulence.



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