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Newly Sequenced Influenza Strains Shed Additional Light on How Flu Viruses Evolve

NEW YORK, Oct. 7 (GenomeWeb News) - With flu season around the corner, the multi-institutional Influenza Genome Sequencing Project has completed the sequencing of 209 varieties of influenza, the US National Institutes of Health said yesterday.

 

The data, published in the Oct. 5 issue of Nature, "give us the most comprehensive picutre to date of how influenza viruses evolve and are transmitted throughout human populations," Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in the statement.

 

The effort yielded 2.8 million sequenced nucleotides, which will be made available for researchers through GenBank, the NIH said. The research explains why the 2003-2004 flu vaccine was only partially successful -- competing strains of the virus circulated in the human population at different times of the flu season, the NIH said.

 

Institutions involved in the project included: the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease; the National Center for Biotechnology Information; the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health in Albany; and The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md.

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