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Cloning and DNA sequence of double-stranded copies of haemagglutinin genes from H2 and H3 strains elucidates antigenic shift and drift in human influenza virus

Abstract

Double-stranded DNA copies of the RNA gene coding for thehaemagglutinin glycoproteins from human H2 and H3 pandemic strainsof influenza virus have been cloned. DNA sequence analysis provides the first reported complete nucleotide sequence of an H2 haemagglutinin gene and a partial sequence (45%) of the H3 gene. The H2 haemagglutinin gene consists of 1,773 nucleotides containing an uninterrupted coding sequence of 1,686 nucleotides specifying a protein of 562 amino acids. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of these haemagglutinins with those of other H3 and avian strains reveals theextent of sequence changes in antigenic shifts and drifts.

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