The molecular evolution of the Influenza A virus is a complex process. While it is recognized that recombination events are a driving force behind the everchanging virulence of influenza, evidence has also been presented in support of Darwinian evolution. Often, codon positions considered in analyses of selective pressures are found in epitopes and sites where mutations confer resistance to antiviral medications. Here, an attempt is made to distinguish between divergent selective pressures acting on geographically distinct datasets. The goal of this study was to use this information to identify sites within the hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix proteins of influenza A H3N2 that enable the virus to adapt to various environments. Though much support was returned in favor of contrasting selective pressures acting between the various locations considered, further research will be required to decisively link these to viral response to changes in climate.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Influenza A virus--Evolution; Mutation (Biology)

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (COS)


Doolittle, Richard


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