Baker Institute for Animal Health
235 Hungerford Hill Road
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 256-5610
Fax: (607) 256-5608
Viral evolution is being examined in order to compare the variation of the virus during periods of endemicity, as well as during the periods of host adaptation and epidemic spread. The studies to date indicate that although the viral DNA sequences are not hypermutable, there are consistently high levels of variation observed in both the endemic and epidemic situations. We will continue to examine the natural variation of virus sequences, and are undertaking laboratory studies of the types of variation which are allowed by the virus genome. Those studies include using mutagenesis and selection for various types of change, as well as examining the effects of altered nucleotide compositions (particularly changes in CpG content), and testing for experimental recombination.
In related studies we are examining the variation of the canine influenza virus in tissue culture and in dogs to examine how that virus varies and the relationships to the variation seen in horses.