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Viruses 2018, 10(8), 407;

Mutation and Epistasis in Influenza Virus Evolution

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What’s New with Flu?)
PDF [857 KB, uploaded 3 August 2018]


Influenza remains a persistent public health challenge, because the rapid evolution of influenza viruses has led to marginal vaccine efficacy, antiviral resistance, and the annual emergence of novel strains. This evolvability is driven, in part, by the virus’s capacity to generate diversity through mutation and reassortment. Because many new traits require multiple mutations and mutations are frequently combined by reassortment, epistatic interactions between mutations play an important role in influenza virus evolution. While mutation and epistasis are fundamental to the adaptability of influenza viruses, they also constrain the evolutionary process in important ways. Here, we review recent work on mutational effects and epistasis in influenza viruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: influenza; mutation; epistasis; evolution; reassortment influenza; mutation; epistasis; evolution; reassortment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lyons, D.M.; Lauring, A.S. Mutation and Epistasis in Influenza Virus Evolution. Viruses 2018, 10, 407.

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