Epochal evolution shapes the phylodynamics of interpandemic influenza A (H3N2) in humans.


Journal Article

Human influenza A (subtype H3N2) is characterized genetically by the limited standing diversity of its hemagglutinin and antigenically by clusters that emerge and replace each other within 2 to 8 years. By introducing an epidemiological model that allows for differences between the genetic and antigenic properties of the virus's hemagglutinin, we show that these patterns can arise from cluster-specific immunity alone. Central to the formulation is a genotype-to-phenotype mapping, based on neutral networks, with antigenic phenotypes, not genotypes, determining the degree of strain cross-immunity. The model parsimoniously explains well-known, as well as previously unremarked, features of interpandemic influenza dynamics and evolution. It captures the observed boom-and-bust pattern of viral evolution, with periods of antigenic stasis during which genetic diversity grows, and with episodic contraction of this diversity during cluster transitions.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Koelle, K; Cobey, S; Grenfell, B; Pascual, M

Published Date

  • December 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 314 / 5807

Start / End Page

  • 1898 - 1903

PubMed ID

  • 17185596

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17185596

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1132745


  • eng