antigenic shift


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Related to antigenic shift: Antigenic drift

antigenic shift

[‚an·tə¦jen·ik ′shift]
(virology)
An abrupt major change in the antigenicity of a virus; believed to result from recombination of genes.
References in periodicals archive ?
the BA and ON1) enable parallels to be drawn with pandemic influenza viruses arising from antigenic shift.
This news was greeted with controversy and has had to be subsequently justified in terms of developing defences against such an antigenic shift occurring in the wild.
Antigenic shift aside, having your child vaccinated against the flu is not a 100% guarantee that she won't get the flu, but it greatly increases her chance that she won't suffer from severe symptoms.
Antigenic shift is a major and abrupt genetic reassortment, made possible when two subtypes exchange genetic material.
Antigenic shift results when a new Influenza A subtype to which most people have little or no immune protection infects humans.
It is possible that cross-species transmission could lead to an antigenic shift, whereby avian and human strains of influenza virus that are circulating at the same time swap genetic material, resulting in a novel, more virulent subtype.
More rarely, about every 25 years on average, a more serious antigenic shift occurs involving an exchange of gene segments between human and avian influenza viruses.
Although long-term storage might have resulted in antigenic shift of the vaccine, DNA viruses such as vaccinia are not prone to antigenic variability (5).
Both antigenic shift, involving minor antigenic changes in the HA and NA glycoproteins, and antigenic drift, involving major changes, have been described.
The problem is that the predominant H3N2 variant has been "uncharacteristically" stable over the last few years, and a significant antigenic shift is anticipated, Dr.
Antigenic drift' causes subtle changes in virus antigens [the flags which alert our immune defences to invasion], making it harder to recognise, but it is antigenic shift - human `flu's ability to combine its DNA with other influenza strains from birds, pigs or horses - that causes real havoc.