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The Roles of Immunity in Influenza Virus Evolution.

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Yearly vaccination against Influenza is necessary because antigenic virus variants are selected during infections of partially immune individuals. Antibodies important in the process of selection recognize virus proteins, haemagglutinins, that function in binding and delivering the virus to human cells, during the first stages of virus infection. The majority of such antibodies block cell binding and most viral variations in haemagglutinin, are in the vicinity of this binding site. Recently, however, antibodies have been described that appear not to select variants but to react with all influenza viruses. Could these antibodies be stock-piled in an antiviral drug arsenal for use against the next epidemic? Could they be induced by a novel single-shot vaccine?

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