Taxonomy and Classification

Influenza viruses belong to the Orthomyxoviridae family of RNA viruses and is constituted of four genera; Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Influenza-virus C and Thogovirus. These viruses have segmented negative-strand RNA genomes enclosed in a lipid envelope derived from the host cell. The particles are covered in a layer of spikes, contained in the envelope, which are of three, kinds: a hemagglutinin (HA) which agglutinates erythrocytes, an enzyme neuraminidase (NA) which releases the virus from cells and a small number of copies of the M2 protein that serves as an ion channel. Beneath the lipid envelope is a membrane or matrix (M) protein surrounding a helical complex containing the nucleoproteins (NP) and three poly-

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