Influenza B and Influenza C Viruses

  • G. M. Air
  • R. W. Compans


It has long been recognized that viruses classified as influenza can show a complete lack of cross-reactivity in their surface antigens. However, all viruses classified as influenza type A have cross-reacting internal components, the matrix and nucleocapsid proteins. Influenza B and C viruses are similar in morphology (Fig. 1) and composition, and in their replication processes, to influenza A viruses. However no antigenic cross reactivity among these viruses has been detected, and they are therefore classified as completely unrelated antigenic types. The morphology of influenza A and B virions is indistinguishable when examined by electron microscopy; on the other hand, influenza C virions exhibit some distinct structural features, which are described in detail in the text which follows.


Influenza Virus Antigenic Drift Mortality Weekly Report Neuraminidase Gene 
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  • G. M. Air
  • R. W. Compans

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